Watford boss Gianfranco Zola believes gutsy display at Burnley could be the beginning of better times ahead

Watford Observer: Watford's Davide Faraoni holds off Burnley's Scott Arfield at Turf Moor. Picture: Action Images Watford's Davide Faraoni holds off Burnley's Scott Arfield at Turf Moor. Picture: Action Images

Gianfranco Zola insists it would have been difficult for any team to have beaten his resilient Watford side last night and hopes the performance against Burnley will provide "the base to move forward again".

The Hornets dug deep to earn a 0-0 draw at Turf Moor and register their first clean sheet in nine matches - their last came against Wigan Athletic on September 28.

Watford are still without a win in seven league games but after two consecutive home defeats, it was an important, morale-boosting point for the Golden Boys.

Zola praised the efforts of the whole squad after the match and believes Watford's defensive steel would have been a match for any team.

"It was going to be tough for anyone to beat us tonight and I'm looking forward to seeing more of this," Zola said.

"We can grind out results, of course we can. The team realised that this was the type of performance that we were looking for and they were excellent.

"Everyone, not only the ones who started but also the ones who came on and the ones who were on the bench."

Watford's next match is away to ninth-placed Leeds United who have won three out of their last four and play Wigan Athletic tonight.

Zola admits his team have not shown their usual fluency in recent matches but hopes the confidence will now seep back and allow the players to gradually return to their more attacking style.

"I'm sure the confidence will come and then with that will come a better quality of football," Zola said.

"I think it could be the base to move forward again. It’s a good performance against the second team in the league and that gives us a lot of confidence that we desperately need to play our own type of football.

"And also these performances will teach us something more about working together, defending together for everything."

The Hornets boss dropped his preferred 3-5-2 formation for a more defensive 4-5-1 last night with George Thorne anchoring at the back of midfield.

Zola explained after the match he had changed the system to be more solid and combat Burnley's threat from wide areas.

"It was because they are very dangerous from wide areas especially on the right with people coming in and putting in some excellent crosses," he added.

"So I wanted to cover those areas of the pitch better and I put in some more defensive players because today a defensive performance was required so it worked out very well."

 

 

Comments (14)

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12:22pm Wed 4 Dec 13

femalehornet122 says...

Well done lads and Zola, lets see a bit more support for the team. Not a win but a start a Zola says. it is going to be tough and our team need us all to back them up. Lets get real and do that instead of all the moaning.
Well done lads and Zola, lets see a bit more support for the team. Not a win but a start a Zola says. it is going to be tough and our team need us all to back them up. Lets get real and do that instead of all the moaning. femalehornet122

12:32pm Wed 4 Dec 13

rowlingstone says...

I'm pleased that we changed the formation to 451. I'm sure that with the players we have, in this formation we will be a very difficult team to play against. Also great protection for Bond playing this formation. Off the back of this result, I'm predicting a 1 nil win against Leeds. COYH!!!
I'm pleased that we changed the formation to 451. I'm sure that with the players we have, in this formation we will be a very difficult team to play against. Also great protection for Bond playing this formation. Off the back of this result, I'm predicting a 1 nil win against Leeds. COYH!!! rowlingstone

12:57pm Wed 4 Dec 13

SimmyB says...

Hope I think was more the word Zola was looking for in the title to this piece. Good result last night so onwards and upwards. As he says, we just need the confidence in front of goal. I'd have put Fessi on yesterday in place of Fabbrini though IMO. Bring on Leeds! COYH!
Hope I think was more the word Zola was looking for in the title to this piece. Good result last night so onwards and upwards. As he says, we just need the confidence in front of goal. I'd have put Fessi on yesterday in place of Fabbrini though IMO. Bring on Leeds! COYH! SimmyB

1:57pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Summer breeze says...

COYH!! Listening on BBC3CR, it felt like a win! Felt so dejected on Saturday, got up and left as the 3rd goal went in - will never 'boo', but had to make a statement. Well done you Golden Boys, worked hard and got a good result. Well done GFZ, you showed everyone you DO have a plan B !!!! Bring it on Leeds - we have turned that corner!
COYH!! Listening on BBC3CR, it felt like a win! Felt so dejected on Saturday, got up and left as the 3rd goal went in - will never 'boo', but had to make a statement. Well done you Golden Boys, worked hard and got a good result. Well done GFZ, you showed everyone you DO have a plan B !!!! Bring it on Leeds - we have turned that corner! Summer breeze

2:33pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Travelling Hornet says...

SimmyB wrote:
Hope I think was more the word Zola was looking for in the title to this piece. Good result last night so onwards and upwards. As he says, we just need the confidence in front of goal. I'd have put Fessi on yesterday in place of Fabbrini though IMO. Bring on Leeds! COYH!
Fabbrini was was the stand out player for the short time hewas on last night.
[quote][p][bold]SimmyB[/bold] wrote: Hope I think was more the word Zola was looking for in the title to this piece. Good result last night so onwards and upwards. As he says, we just need the confidence in front of goal. I'd have put Fessi on yesterday in place of Fabbrini though IMO. Bring on Leeds! COYH![/p][/quote]Fabbrini was was the stand out player for the short time hewas on last night. Travelling Hornet

4:17pm Wed 4 Dec 13

andyrankin says...

If it takes 15,000 WFC fans telling Zola week after week that the formation isn't working and he takes this long to change it then how good a manager does that make him?
Sorry but a 0-0 doesn't make me suddenly ignore facts, Zola will not achieve the potential this squad has. Please please let me be wrong.
If it takes 15,000 WFC fans telling Zola week after week that the formation isn't working and he takes this long to change it then how good a manager does that make him? Sorry but a 0-0 doesn't make me suddenly ignore facts, Zola will not achieve the potential this squad has. Please please let me be wrong. andyrankin

4:33pm Wed 4 Dec 13

MainStandShambles says...

rowlingstone wrote:
I'm pleased that we changed the formation to 451. I'm sure that with the players we have, in this formation we will be a very difficult team to play against. Also great protection for Bond playing this formation. Off the back of this result, I'm predicting a 1 nil win against Leeds. COYH!!!
Like you rowlingstone, i was pleased to see the change in formation last night produce a good solid performance with a pleasing result at the end of it.

An observation i have made on previous threads is that apart from the occasional Liverpool or Aston Villa outing with 3 at the back the 3-5-2 formation isn't used in the PL so why are we using it to try and escape from the hurly-burly nature of the Championship.

I was also pleased to see Bond and Battochio given proper game time.
[quote][p][bold]rowlingstone[/bold] wrote: I'm pleased that we changed the formation to 451. I'm sure that with the players we have, in this formation we will be a very difficult team to play against. Also great protection for Bond playing this formation. Off the back of this result, I'm predicting a 1 nil win against Leeds. COYH!!![/p][/quote]Like you rowlingstone, i was pleased to see the change in formation last night produce a good solid performance with a pleasing result at the end of it. An observation i have made on previous threads is that apart from the occasional Liverpool or Aston Villa outing with 3 at the back the 3-5-2 formation isn't used in the PL so why are we using it to try and escape from the hurly-burly nature of the Championship. I was also pleased to see Bond and Battochio given proper game time. MainStandShambles

4:41pm Wed 4 Dec 13

lutondown says...

Travelling Hornet wrote:
SimmyB wrote:
Hope I think was more the word Zola was looking for in the title to this piece. Good result last night so onwards and upwards. As he says, we just need the confidence in front of goal. I'd have put Fessi on yesterday in place of Fabbrini though IMO. Bring on Leeds! COYH!
Fabbrini was was the stand out player for the short time hewas on last night.
And you speak with authority Russ! This man goes everywhere with the Horns..he deserves a hundred thumbs up
[quote][p][bold]Travelling Hornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SimmyB[/bold] wrote: Hope I think was more the word Zola was looking for in the title to this piece. Good result last night so onwards and upwards. As he says, we just need the confidence in front of goal. I'd have put Fessi on yesterday in place of Fabbrini though IMO. Bring on Leeds! COYH![/p][/quote]Fabbrini was was the stand out player for the short time hewas on last night.[/p][/quote]And you speak with authority Russ! This man goes everywhere with the Horns..he deserves a hundred thumbs up lutondown

4:51pm Wed 4 Dec 13

lutondown says...

lutondown wrote:
Travelling Hornet wrote:
SimmyB wrote:
Hope I think was more the word Zola was looking for in the title to this piece. Good result last night so onwards and upwards. As he says, we just need the confidence in front of goal. I'd have put Fessi on yesterday in place of Fabbrini though IMO. Bring on Leeds! COYH!
Fabbrini was was the stand out player for the short time hewas on last night.
And you speak with authority Russ! This man goes everywhere with the Horns..he deserves a hundred thumbs up
Don't believe it I gave travelling Hornet a thumbs up for attending every game, often driving on his own and someone has negated it. Good to see the tool shed crew are still as bitter and twisted as ever.
[quote][p][bold]lutondown[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Travelling Hornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SimmyB[/bold] wrote: Hope I think was more the word Zola was looking for in the title to this piece. Good result last night so onwards and upwards. As he says, we just need the confidence in front of goal. I'd have put Fessi on yesterday in place of Fabbrini though IMO. Bring on Leeds! COYH![/p][/quote]Fabbrini was was the stand out player for the short time hewas on last night.[/p][/quote]And you speak with authority Russ! This man goes everywhere with the Horns..he deserves a hundred thumbs up[/p][/quote]Don't believe it I gave travelling Hornet a thumbs up for attending every game, often driving on his own and someone has negated it. Good to see the tool shed crew are still as bitter and twisted as ever. lutondown

4:51pm Wed 4 Dec 13

mickallen57 says...

Feels like a win to me. If Zola can stop the leaky defence then we are in with a shout. We have the players who on their day can beat anyone in this division. Confidence can come as quickly as it goes another clean sheet against Leeds and we will be well on the way. We are not firing on all cylinders we know that. But this is a great way to stop the rot, stop giving silly goals away then I think the goals will come with the growing confidence.
COYH
Feels like a win to me. If Zola can stop the leaky defence then we are in with a shout. We have the players who on their day can beat anyone in this division. Confidence can come as quickly as it goes another clean sheet against Leeds and we will be well on the way. We are not firing on all cylinders we know that. But this is a great way to stop the rot, stop giving silly goals away then I think the goals will come with the growing confidence. COYH mickallen57

7:26pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Rookery Veteren says...

SimmyB wrote:
Hope I think was more the word Zola was looking for in the title to this piece. Good result last night so onwards and upwards. As he says, we just need the confidence in front of goal. I'd have put Fessi on yesterday in place of Fabbrini though IMO. Bring on Leeds! COYH!
Not pretty and this formation isn't going to sort the goals drought . But this point is huge in terms of rebuilding confidence. No schoolboy mistakes and no late goals conceded. It's a start, the sexy football will return in time along with Abdi,Anya,Angella etc but on this night in Lancashire a bit of grit was needed and was found.
[quote][p][bold]SimmyB[/bold] wrote: Hope I think was more the word Zola was looking for in the title to this piece. Good result last night so onwards and upwards. As he says, we just need the confidence in front of goal. I'd have put Fessi on yesterday in place of Fabbrini though IMO. Bring on Leeds! COYH![/p][/quote]Not pretty and this formation isn't going to sort the goals drought . But this point is huge in terms of rebuilding confidence. No schoolboy mistakes and no late goals conceded. It's a start, the sexy football will return in time along with Abdi,Anya,Angella etc but on this night in Lancashire a bit of grit was needed and was found. Rookery Veteren

1:46pm Thu 5 Dec 13

coldplay says...

andyrankin wrote:
If it takes 15,000 WFC fans telling Zola week after week that the formation isn't working and he takes this long to change it then how good a manager does that make him?
Sorry but a 0-0 doesn't make me suddenly ignore facts, Zola will not achieve the potential this squad has. Please please let me be wrong.
The day a manager picks a team based on what fans think and want, in my book, makes him a bad manager. Tuesday night was about going out not to lose and get something out of the game to stop the rot and build much needed confidence. That meant lining up more defensively but it still needed a group of players to be committed, determined and on their game to deliver the performance. It's all about the players whatever the formation and the truth is some haven't performed well, mistakes have been made and we have had some bad luck as well as a few injuries. Just imagine picking a team and formation based on fan input - the bloke who sits behind me comes to life every ten minutes with'get it up there' and 'get four up top'. Now we are never going to agree on who plays and where so let's leave it to the manager. You never know Tuesday night and the way we set up may stay and we can go on an unbeaten run, but if we do I'll give the credit to GFZ.
[quote][p][bold]andyrankin[/bold] wrote: If it takes 15,000 WFC fans telling Zola week after week that the formation isn't working and he takes this long to change it then how good a manager does that make him? Sorry but a 0-0 doesn't make me suddenly ignore facts, Zola will not achieve the potential this squad has. Please please let me be wrong.[/p][/quote]The day a manager picks a team based on what fans think and want, in my book, makes him a bad manager. Tuesday night was about going out not to lose and get something out of the game to stop the rot and build much needed confidence. That meant lining up more defensively but it still needed a group of players to be committed, determined and on their game to deliver the performance. It's all about the players whatever the formation and the truth is some haven't performed well, mistakes have been made and we have had some bad luck as well as a few injuries. Just imagine picking a team and formation based on fan input - the bloke who sits behind me comes to life every ten minutes with'get it up there' and 'get four up top'. Now we are never going to agree on who plays and where so let's leave it to the manager. You never know Tuesday night and the way we set up may stay and we can go on an unbeaten run, but if we do I'll give the credit to GFZ. coldplay

4:39pm Thu 5 Dec 13

N Joydegame says...

Whilst I'm pleased for GFZ to come away with something on Tuesday, the facts are you don't win games by not conceding although it helps, you win them by out scoring your opponents. The last 4 results Leicester 0-3, Bolton, 0-1, Yeovil 0-3, and Burnley 0-0 show we haven't been able to put the ball in the back of the net for 360 minutes of football ! Yes, we've been making blunders at the back and our defence has been porous BUT no goals in 360 minutes shows where our problems lie.

Teams have sussed our tactics at home, we've been tediously slow to move the ball forward quickly, and the number of over the top balls is almost (not quite) near to Hoofroyd's era.

In my view GFZ needs a better backroom team than he's got, it's certainly nowhere near as effective as his team last year. It's never been explained why so many left after just one year.
Whilst I'm pleased for GFZ to come away with something on Tuesday, the facts are you don't win games by not conceding although it helps, you win them by out scoring your opponents. The last 4 results Leicester 0-3, Bolton, 0-1, Yeovil 0-3, and Burnley 0-0 show we haven't been able to put the ball in the back of the net for 360 minutes of football ! Yes, we've been making blunders at the back and our defence has been porous BUT no goals in 360 minutes shows where our problems lie. Teams have sussed our tactics at home, we've been tediously slow to move the ball forward quickly, and the number of over the top balls is almost (not quite) near to Hoofroyd's era. In my view GFZ needs a better backroom team than he's got, it's certainly nowhere near as effective as his team last year. It's never been explained why so many left after just one year. N Joydegame

10:16pm Thu 5 Dec 13

No Wheels says...

andyrankin wrote:
If it takes 15,000 WFC fans telling Zola week after week that the formation isn't working and he takes this long to change it then how good a manager does that make him?
Sorry but a 0-0 doesn't make me suddenly ignore facts, Zola will not achieve the potential this squad has. Please please let me be wrong.
Yeah yeah yeah, You got in a nutshell. People power, innit. Looking forward with not inconsiderable relish to Zola now telling right-footed players to shoot in positions where the ball is bouncing around their left ear, when there is no sight on goal and there are three or four teammates in better postions. Because, hey, you know, there are thousands of people, who are like, you know, yelling "Shoot" and stuff .... Like, why is they don't just shooooooot, those **** guys, you know what I'm saying?
[quote][p][bold]andyrankin[/bold] wrote: If it takes 15,000 WFC fans telling Zola week after week that the formation isn't working and he takes this long to change it then how good a manager does that make him? Sorry but a 0-0 doesn't make me suddenly ignore facts, Zola will not achieve the potential this squad has. Please please let me be wrong.[/p][/quote]Yeah yeah yeah, You got in a nutshell. People power, innit. Looking forward with not inconsiderable relish to Zola now telling right-footed players to shoot in positions where the ball is bouncing around their left ear, when there is no sight on goal and there are three or four teammates in better postions. Because, hey, you know, there are thousands of people, who are like, you know, yelling "Shoot" and stuff .... Like, why is they don't just shooooooot, those **** guys, you know what I'm saying? No Wheels

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