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Gianfranco Zola says Watford's players deserve more
Gianfranco Zola says he is “trying everything” to turn Watford’s poor run of form around and says the players “deserve more” than their recent results.
The Hornets have not won in nine matches and today lost their fifth consecutive home game – the first time that has happened in 23 years.
The head coach has tried to change the formation and personnel during their poor recent run and when he was asked what more he could, Zola replied: “We are trying everything; training differently and trying to do different things and it is not working.
“But I do believe in this group and the values and those values will come out. I do hope that it will be soon because this is a group which deserves more.”
Today’s 1-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday made it four home games in a row without scoring.
“Today we did score and the goal was disallowed,” Zola responded when his side’s goal drought at Vicarage Road was mentioned.
The Hornets played well in the first half and Ikechi Anya had the ball in the net following an excellent through ball by Troy Deeney, only for the goal to ruled out due to offside.
“It was definitely a goal. We have seen it more than once and it was definitely onside,” Zola added.
But in the second half, Sheffield Wednesday dropped deeper and the Hornets struggled to create clear-cut chances, as has often been the case at home this season.
Zola admitted: “In front of the goalkeeper we are not as confident as we were some time ago. To be honest it is becoming very difficult to get people in front of the goalkeeper because of the way the opposition plays with lots of men at the back and we do not create enough opportunities.
“That is the situation. Unfortunately it hasn’t been easy and we tried to do something different today to play one striker less and to try to have a more balanced team. We created some chances but it wasn’t enough.
“What is the real problem? I certainly don’t know. We are not going through a good moment in terms of confidence. We produce chances but it is difficult for us to score and when the opposition have one chance – like they did today and many times in the past - they score. That certainly doesn’t help the confidence of the players and that is what is creating a lot of pressure with the players and everyone.
“Now I know football is about results and results are more important than anything so I understand that and I will see what the best thing to do is.”
Whilst much of the first half was good from the Hornets, the second period was very poor as they failed to create a clear-cut opportunity before Fernando Forestieri missed deep into injury time.
Zola said: “Second half we lost momentum. We were not as good as the first half but you have to understand that in football. Psychology comes into play when you play well in the first half and then still find yourself 1-0 down, that is when you get a bit more edgy and that is what happens. We lost a little bit of it. Unfortunately we didn’t manage the same quality of play as the first half.
“We had a great chance in the end and at another time we may have scored but it didn’t happen and we are getting highly penalised at the moment.”
Zola’s decision to switch to a 4-5-1 formation seemingly paid off last week when they secured two good away points at high-flying Burnley and Leeds United but he was asked whether he regretted not playing two up front at Vicarage Road this afternoon.
He said: “Well I could have done that [played two strikers] and I did think about it but I thought in the last two games the team was balanced and played good games so I wanted to see how they would cope in a home game.
“It is difficult because I thought the team played well against Burnley and Leeds and I thought those players [in that system] deserved another go today. I could always change towards the end if needed but honestly after the first half I didn’t see the necessity to do that. I don’t think it [playing with two strikers] would have made a big difference.”
Zola sent the players out early after half time and he explained: “The thinking was that I wasn’t sure we were ready and I wanted them to be ready straight away – to give a signal to everyone.”
Davide Faraoni twisted his ankle early into the second half but Zola said it was too early to know how long the defender would be out.
Zola admitted he is unsure if he can turn Watford’s fortunes around after a fifth consecutive home defeat. Read those comments here.
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