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Gianfranco Zola admits Watford have to blame themselves for Derby County defeat
“It is tough to take but we have to blame ourselves because it isn’t enough playing great football like we did today and scoring two great goals, we need to defend better.” That was Watford head coach Gianfranco Zola’s reaction after his side succumbed to a 3-2 defeat at home to Derby County this afternoon.
The Hornets started poorly and went behind early into the game but equalised moments later and then controlled for large parts of the match.
Sloppy passing was a huge contributing factor in the Golden Boys’ defeat and led to Derby going into the break ahead.
Watford equalised midway through the second half and looked the most likely to win during the second half before a Derby counter attack ended with Conor Sammon scoring the winner with two minutes of normal time remaining.
A disappointed Zola said: “It’s fair to say that [Watford deserved at least a point] but unfortunately we get nothing and that is the upsetting thing for me.
“What can I say? It is tough to take but we have to blame ourselves because it isn’t enough playing great football like we did today and scoring two great goals, we need to defend better.
“To win Championships, you need to be able to attack well like we did today but you have to defend better.
“We want to do better than we did last year and to do that we need to improve.
“We need to defend better than that and when I say that I am not just talking about the defenders, everyone else has to as well; the midfielders and strikers need to do more.
“In modern football you can’t think you only defend with just defenders, everyone has to participate.”
When his team’s sloppy play was highlighted, Zola replied: “Exactly. When we analysed the opposition we said this team are dangerous. Before this game they had won four games and three were away from home. We watched them and they were very dangerous when you lose the ball and they counter. We knew that.
“I thought sometimes our passing from the back was very poor – well not as good as normal - and we can’t afford that especially when we have strikers like the ones we had today and we can’t play long balls. We need to play from the back so the quality in passing from the back has to be better.”
Zola confirmed Ikechi Anya missed today’s game with a calf problem and said he was planning to start Sean Murray before the midfielder complained of having tired legs yesterday afternoon following his outings for the Republic of Ireland Under-21s. Lloyd Doyley was also left out after two appearances for his country and the long-distance flights.
Read a report of today's 3-2 defeat here.
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