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Watford boss Gianfranco Zola reflects on 5-1 Barnsley win
Gianfranco Zola said Watford will be travelling home tonight “with a big smile on our face” after their 5-1 victory at Barnsley.
Goals from Troy Deeney, Davide Faraoni, Fernando Forestieri, Sean Murray an d Ikechi Anya sealed the win as the Hornets completed back-to-back league victories for the second time this season.
“The result and part of the game there were some very good things so I’m happy,” the Hornets head coach said. “A game like this is never easy and so you have to enjoy it. We haven’t been perfect out there, we know there are some things that have to be done better but in general we go home with a big smile on our face.”
Leading 3-1 at the break, Zola felt his side would have chances to increase their tally after the break as Barnsley sought to try and get back into the contest.
He said: “I knew it was going to come if we had the opportunity. The game went exactly where we wanted it to be. They were pushing, they were looking to come back into the game and we knew they were going to leave space behind. We just waited. They had their chances too at 3-1 but we’ve been good, Manu’s (Manuel Almunia) been excellent and on the counter we took the opportunities.”
Zola acknowledged having a two-goal cushion at the break “made a big difference” but there were aspects of his side’s performance in his first half he wasn’t happy about and felt the task would have been harder had Jason Scotland not equalised when he did.
He explained: “I wasn’t quite pleased in the first 20 minutes with the way we played. If they hadn’t scored with the opportunity they had they would have been more difficult. But you have to understand sometimes you are not always on top of the game and when those moments come you have to get together and defend and dig in as we did today and the prize will come later. I thought that when (Essaid) Belkalem came on he made a big difference. He settled the defence.”
Watford have paid the price at times under Zola for not making the most of their opportunities but they were clinical in front of goal this afternoon to secure a first victory at Oakwell since 2000.
“This year sometimes we play good football but the question was whether was we were going to be as sharp and clinical and effective at scoring goals as were last year and I think today is a good signal in that sense,” Zola said.
The pick of the five was Anya’s stunning 80-yard run and finish and Zola smiled: “The man can run but also Sean Murray’s goal was excellent. A great goal and a very good performance.”
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