Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or email us
Gianfranco Zola reflects on Watford's draw with Charlton Athletic
Gianfranco Zola felt this afternoon’s draw against Charlton Athletic was a “good point” in the context of how the game unfolded but accepted there were shortcomings in Watford’s performance and these will be addressed tomorrow.
The Hornets found themselves trailing immediately after the restart after Essaid Belkalem’s challenge conceded the penalty which Yann Kermorgant converted.
But the hosts got back on terms with 20 minutes remaining when Daniel Pudil converted a rebound after Ben Hamer could only parry a Diego Fabbrini shot back into the heart of the penalty area.
Both sides had opportunities to win the match but the better ones fell to the hosts, with Lewis McGugan shooting just wide before Troy Deeney lifted a great chance over after excellent work by Ikechi Anya.
“The expectations were different for today’s match and things didn’t go the way we wanted, Zola admitted. “But it is a good point considering we went down and it wasn’t easy so I take it as a positive thing.
“There are obviously a lot of things that didn’t work as I wanted and I know exactly what those things are and we’re going to be addressing them tomorrow and working a little bit on that.”
With Almen Abdi ruled out with a foot problem and Anya rested to the bench after his international exploits with Scotland, Zola decided to switch formation from 3-5-2 to 3-4-2-1.
He explained: “I saw it as an opportunity and we’ve played this system before and we played really well it, so I was trying to see the potential and problems of this team and I saw enough. I know when I can use it and when I don’t have to use it as well.
“I’ve had a lot of indications and although it hasn’t been our best game, and everyone agrees with that, we still could have won. If we had been a little bit more ruthless towards the end we could have won the game because we created enough chances to win it.”
The benefits – and pitfalls – of the formation change were perhaps most evident in the first half. There were occasions when it looked as if it could be beneficial for the Hornets on the counter-attack, but for longer periods of time the hosts found themselves outnumbered in the middle of the park against Charlton’s three central midfielders.
“One of the two second strikers (Fernando Forestieri and/or Fabbrini] had to come and sort out the overload and we didn’t do that enough and unfortunately it didn’t work,” Zola acknowledged.
“We were expecting to have a little bit more momentum with the ball and we were expecting to keep them a little bitt more in their own half, just to have that advantage we were looking for. It didn’t happen and it’s a good indication for me anyway.”
Comments are closed on this article.