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Watford boss Gianfranco Zola 'disappointed with the performance and result' against Blackburn Rovers
Gianfranco Zola believes Watford’s performance during the 1-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers was hampered by the high number of matches in quick succession – despite making five changes to his starting line-up.
Tonight was the Hornets’ sixth game in 18 days and Zola has continually rotated his players during that period.
“I am disappointed with the performance and the result,” Zola said. “I knew it wouldn’t be a great game of football today because it is the sixth game in 18 days so I wasn’t expecting great quality.
“But the way the game was going, I was not expecting to concede that goal either because we had defended well from set pieces before that. It is just one of those where we lost attention and it cost us greatly today.”
Watford struggled to maintain possession for much of the match and struggled to break down a resilient Blackburn.
Zola said: “We were certainly not brilliant [going forward]. It wasn’t only the penetration that was poor; it was also the quality of the passing in midfield was not as good as normal.
“I think a lot is a consequence of there being too many games and you can’t always play with the same quality.”
He did stress though: “It is not only us; all I am saying is the quality cannot be great.”
When asked if he was disappointed with his side’s energy levels considering he had continually made changes whereas Blackburn were unchanged, Zola replied: “Yes I was expecting more and physically I would expect more. Also quality wise I was expecting more.
“What can I say? It is totally normal because although you make changes, the team plays any way and that is energy that you use and consume.
“I am not trying to find excuses; I am just saying the quality in these conditions cannot be the best.”
One of the highlights for Watford was the impact of Diego Fabbrini after he came on at half time for the injured Javier Acuna.
Zola said: “I have to say that when Diego comes on he is very effective. I was expecting maybe Fernando Forestieri and also Josh McEachran to have the same impact and be as good as Diego.
“To be honest we tried and we created some more opportunities but there was too much confusion.”
The audio from Zola’s press conference and reaction from Gary Bowyer will be uploaded tomorrow morning.
Read a match report from tonight's match here.
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