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Gianfranco Zola says rotating the Watford players will keep them fresh and on their toes
Gianfranco Zola says being able to make wholesale changes for Watford’s cup games and still progressing will help keep his players fresh and on their toes.
The Hornets head coach made ten alterations to the side who drew 1-1 with Nottingham Forest at the weekend when the Golden Boys faced Bournemouth tonight.
Zola said: “It was a good performance. I know I can make changes because the squad this year is quite strong and even if we make the changes we have a good side. For example all our defenders could be regulars.
“It is good for me that I can make changes because it keeps everyone fresh and on their toes.”
One of the most impressive aspects of Watford’s performance was their work when not in possession, as they continually pressed not only as individuals but also as a unit.
Zola said: “That is what we were looking for in the first place today. It [Watford’s work off the ball] is something that we need to improve and it has to be done because otherwise all the other qualities won’t come through.
“We wanted them to do that and they did well.”
The Hornets’ strike partnership of Javier Acuna and Fernando Forestieri led from the front as they put in impressive shifts.
“They were unbelievable,” Zola said. “They worked hard but they also showed quality and they were quite good.”
Watford took the lead in the first half through an Elliott Ward own goal but there was nothing fortuitous about the second as Cristian Battocchio scored an exquisite first-time chip which went in off the crossbar.
Zola said: “That was something special. I am pleased that Cristian scored the goal because he played a good game and he worked so hard and got what he deserved.”
It wasn’t a faultless performance from the Golden Boys though and goalkeeper Jonathan Bond was required to make a few excellent saves to ensure he kept a clean sheet and Watford progressed.
Zola said: “We can enjoy this victory and we also have to say thank you very much to Jonathan Bond because he was exceptional today. There were a couple of occasions where he was unbelievable.”
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