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Watford's defeat to Norwich City was a crushing blow for Gianfranco Zola
Watford head coach Gianfranco Zola admitted tonight’s League Cup defeat to Norwich City was a crushing blow.
The Premier League side were stronger for much of the first half as the Hornets were sloppy in possession and often on the back foot.
However, the second half was a different story and the Golden Boys seemed in complete control heading into the final quarter of an hour when 2-0 ahead.
But Norwich scored with their first effort at goal in the second half on 77 minutes and with seconds left of injury-time, Gary Hooper sent the match into extra-time.
The former Celtic and Scunthorpe United striker then scored the winner in the second half of extra time to progress to the final 16 of the League Cup.
Zola said: “It is a crushing feeling of course because we were winning the game and deserved to be winning against a Premier League team.
“But games are also down to not only the quality of your play but the attention in crucial moments. That is a point we need to learn.
“Their first goal was a cracking goal which we couldn’t do much about but for the second one we shouldn’t have allowed the delivery into the box to be so good because you know it is tough when you are under pressure like we were at the end. You can’t allow the ball to be delivered with such quality. That is the only thing I can complain about.”
He added: “The first half Norwich were excellent and they deserved to go in front because of their quality. But after the goal we changed; we were better and found a little more courage and tranquillity with the ball.
“But still there were so many easy mistakes with the ball [in the first half] that we normally don’t do.
“The second half was excellent, I have to say that. I thought we were in control of the game, created problems, scored a second goal and should have scored a third. We were in total control.
“But towards the end we lost a bit of physicality because of the tiredness and we lost attention. That was what allowed them to get back into the game.”
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