Beppe Sannino: 'My team showed me another side and the Watford fans were incredible'

Picture: Action Images

Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport
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Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Group Sports Editor

Beppe Sannino claims he discovered another side to his Watford team during their backs-to-the-wall display in the second half against Bournemouth and paid tribute to the club’s “incredible” supporters.

Watford performed well during the opening half an hour of today’s match before Bournemouth took control before half time.

The Hornets snatched the opening goal in first-half injury time before Bournemouth dominated the second period, even before the visitors were reduced to ten men and Eddie Howe’s team equalised with half an hour remaining.

Watford barely got out of their half during the second half but showed superb heart and togetherness to grind out a point, despite conceding a second penalty and being under constant pressure.

Sannino said: “I am pleased with the point and this game helped me discover another side of my team. In the second half, they showed heart, great organisation and great desire against a very good team.”

Sannino has called on his team to show more passion during the last week and after the match joked: “Yes there was [more passion], maybe even too much today. It was a beautiful sensation.

“But the passion of our supporters; it was incredible and they were very helpful for us. And I think also the players pushed the supporters to stay together with us.”

Bournemouth equalised from the penalty spot on 62 minutes but there was controversy surrounding not only the decision but which player was sent off.

The Watford Observer had not seen a replay of the incident when writing this and neither had Sannino.

On first viewing, it appeared either Fitz Hall or Joel Ekstrand pulled back Lewis Grabban when he was put through and then Ekstrand challenged the player when the eventual scorer was set to shoot. The referee did not award the penalty initially and it has been said the assistant, who informed the referee he thought it was a penalty, indicated it was for the pull on Grabban’s shirt and not the tackle. The officials talked for more than a minute before deciding to send off Gabriele Angella, who did not appear to be involved in either altercation.

Sannino said: “It was too far for me to judge but if you say that [the wrong player may have been sent off] then I will have a look on the TV and someone will judge. But from here (the technical area) I couldn’t see clearly so I don’t want to comment.”

When asked if Angella told him anything about the incident, Sannino replied: “No.

“Yes he was disappointed because he was not in the action so if you mean that, then he was disappointed because he was not involved but that is Gabriele’s statement so I have to wait to see.”

He added: “You tell me because I didn’t see the image. I think it was a little pull because I saw his shirt but the player didn’t dive (go down) and he carried on and afterwards he dived (went down) when Joel tried to catch the ball but from here I couldn’t tell you what happened. The TV will tell us.”

Sannino confirmed the club had not decided whether to appeal the red card yet.

Watford conceded a second penalty less than ten minutes later when Hall and Manuel Almunia challenged Marc Pugh as he tried to go around the goalkeeper. This time the referee did not send off a Watford player and Grabban’s spot kick, and subsequent follow-ups, were saved by the Spaniard.

Sannino said: “To receive two penalties against you in 45 minutes is very strange and it is the first time for me.

“But I have two very good goalkeepers in Jonathan Bond and Manuel Almunia and today it was Manuel.”

The last half an hour was about survival and Watford’s performance in terms of retaining possession and building attacks was very poor in the second half.

Watford’s defence dropped deep in the second half and Sannino confirmed that was the plan and it was not only a consequence of Bournemouth’s pressure.

On his team’s display before the sending off, Sannino said: “I think we started the game very well. Then we dropped a bit because they were playing well and showed good conditioning.

“But we dropped deep because I didn’t want them to have space over our shoulders because they had a very quick player (in Lewis Grabban).”

Read Eddie Howe's comments from after the match here.

Comments (10)

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8:58pm Sat 18 Jan 14

watford1881 says...

If the wrong player was sent off how could the linesman have seen anything.. Surely he must have seen "a player" do something.. Which one??? The officials were rubbish today.. I'm sure the FA have a vendetta against us.. Now with two players Merkel and one other banned for Man City match next week we've given them a slight chance of beating us...
If the wrong player was sent off how could the linesman have seen anything.. Surely he must have seen "a player" do something.. Which one??? The officials were rubbish today.. I'm sure the FA have a vendetta against us.. Now with two players Merkel and one other banned for Man City match next week we've given them a slight chance of beating us... watford1881
  • Score: 12

9:00pm Sat 18 Jan 14

buck-stops says...

Very heartening given the circumstances of the game but also very frustrating as more ground is lost to teams who i don't believe are better than us...
Very heartening given the circumstances of the game but also very frustrating as more ground is lost to teams who i don't believe are better than us... buck-stops
  • Score: 11

9:40pm Sat 18 Jan 14

TaylorMadeArmy says...

With the quality of that dive, I was expecting Marc Pugh to be on ITV's 'Splash' this evening. By that, I mean it was awful.
With the quality of that dive, I was expecting Marc Pugh to be on ITV's 'Splash' this evening. By that, I mean it was awful. TaylorMadeArmy
  • Score: 14

10:27pm Sat 18 Jan 14

buckshornet says...

we would have won with 11 men i'm sure as we defended better again,great atmosphere with passion shown on and off the pitch!
we would have won with 11 men i'm sure as we defended better again,great atmosphere with passion shown on and off the pitch! buckshornet
  • Score: 12

11:43pm Sat 18 Jan 14

Summer breeze says...

there was plenty of passion on & off the pitch! Our players responded to the great support today. Shame the officials spoiled a good game which I think we would have won. Good goal from Angella. Great performances from Almunia & Pudil. So glad I was there today. We dug in at the end and deserved the point. Deeney lazy in first half but picked up his game in the second (is he looking like he needs to tone up? Maybe follow Sean Murrays regime!)
there was plenty of passion on & off the pitch! Our players responded to the great support today. Shame the officials spoiled a good game which I think we would have won. Good goal from Angella. Great performances from Almunia & Pudil. So glad I was there today. We dug in at the end and deserved the point. Deeney lazy in first half but picked up his game in the second (is he looking like he needs to tone up? Maybe follow Sean Murrays regime!) Summer breeze
  • Score: 8

1:51am Sun 19 Jan 14

Henry VIII says...

It may be that our chance of a play off position is all but very slim, but with the Championship - and it is still January, you never know. However, I must admit I am delighted with Mr. Sannino, he really is a manager I am warming to. His mid-week comments, access to the media, honesty and passion are so refreshing. The even better part for me, is that while he is clearly passionate, he is also wise enough to keep a calm head when things do not go the teams way. We all know that the officials made a pigs ear of today's game, yet his post match comments, albeit with an interpreter, showed class and I personally really thank him for that. I believe like many others that we have a squad that should be pushing top six, but it has been a tough season and if we don't get there, I would not see this as a season of failure, but maybe one of a more grounded approach and a steadying of our ship. The funny thing is, I still think come May we might be a little further up the table than we are right now. I just get the feeling the club has got it's zing back, and we have enough talent to hurt some teams in the coming months. I'm really glad you are here Beppe and I think that the fans and players are as well. We are a lucky club, we have had a few classy Managers over the years...
It may be that our chance of a play off position is all but very slim, but with the Championship - and it is still January, you never know. However, I must admit I am delighted with Mr. Sannino, he really is a manager I am warming to. His mid-week comments, access to the media, honesty and passion are so refreshing. The even better part for me, is that while he is clearly passionate, he is also wise enough to keep a calm head when things do not go the teams way. We all know that the officials made a pigs ear of today's game, yet his post match comments, albeit with an interpreter, showed class and I personally really thank him for that. I believe like many others that we have a squad that should be pushing top six, but it has been a tough season and if we don't get there, I would not see this as a season of failure, but maybe one of a more grounded approach and a steadying of our ship. The funny thing is, I still think come May we might be a little further up the table than we are right now. I just get the feeling the club has got it's zing back, and we have enough talent to hurt some teams in the coming months. I'm really glad you are here Beppe and I think that the fans and players are as well. We are a lucky club, we have had a few classy Managers over the years... Henry VIII
  • Score: 23

2:02am Sun 19 Jan 14

rayman01 says...

Henry VIII wrote:
It may be that our chance of a play off position is all but very slim, but with the Championship - and it is still January, you never know. However, I must admit I am delighted with Mr. Sannino, he really is a manager I am warming to. His mid-week comments, access to the media, honesty and passion are so refreshing. The even better part for me, is that while he is clearly passionate, he is also wise enough to keep a calm head when things do not go the teams way. We all know that the officials made a pigs ear of today's game, yet his post match comments, albeit with an interpreter, showed class and I personally really thank him for that. I believe like many others that we have a squad that should be pushing top six, but it has been a tough season and if we don't get there, I would not see this as a season of failure, but maybe one of a more grounded approach and a steadying of our ship. The funny thing is, I still think come May we might be a little further up the table than we are right now. I just get the feeling the club has got it's zing back, and we have enough talent to hurt some teams in the coming months. I'm really glad you are here Beppe and I think that the fans and players are as well. We are a lucky club, we have had a few classy Managers over the years...
Spot on Henry VIII. Sannino has not put a foot wrong since taking charge. Things have not always gone our way but he has definitely steadied the ship. At the beginning of the season I said our fortunes would depend on our home form. On that basis I can't see us making the play-offs. However, I do sense your optimism that we will improve and get better results this spring. Next season we will be all the better for that. Luv the Horns!
[quote][p][bold]Henry VIII[/bold] wrote: It may be that our chance of a play off position is all but very slim, but with the Championship - and it is still January, you never know. However, I must admit I am delighted with Mr. Sannino, he really is a manager I am warming to. His mid-week comments, access to the media, honesty and passion are so refreshing. The even better part for me, is that while he is clearly passionate, he is also wise enough to keep a calm head when things do not go the teams way. We all know that the officials made a pigs ear of today's game, yet his post match comments, albeit with an interpreter, showed class and I personally really thank him for that. I believe like many others that we have a squad that should be pushing top six, but it has been a tough season and if we don't get there, I would not see this as a season of failure, but maybe one of a more grounded approach and a steadying of our ship. The funny thing is, I still think come May we might be a little further up the table than we are right now. I just get the feeling the club has got it's zing back, and we have enough talent to hurt some teams in the coming months. I'm really glad you are here Beppe and I think that the fans and players are as well. We are a lucky club, we have had a few classy Managers over the years...[/p][/quote]Spot on Henry VIII. Sannino has not put a foot wrong since taking charge. Things have not always gone our way but he has definitely steadied the ship. At the beginning of the season I said our fortunes would depend on our home form. On that basis I can't see us making the play-offs. However, I do sense your optimism that we will improve and get better results this spring. Next season we will be all the better for that. Luv the Horns! rayman01
  • Score: 16

8:06am Sun 19 Jan 14

Watford4eva says...

buck-stops wrote:
Very heartening given the circumstances of the game but also very frustrating as more ground is lost to teams who i don't believe are better than us...
The league don't lie
[quote][p][bold]buck-stops[/bold] wrote: Very heartening given the circumstances of the game but also very frustrating as more ground is lost to teams who i don't believe are better than us...[/p][/quote]The league don't lie Watford4eva
  • Score: 0

10:12am Sun 19 Jan 14

buck-stops says...

Watford4eva wrote:
buck-stops wrote:
Very heartening given the circumstances of the game but also very frustrating as more ground is lost to teams who i don't believe are better than us...
The league don't lie
True but no less frustrating. Things haven't gone our way so far. However, I'm an optimist and i don't think it's over by any means. 63 points to play for….
[quote][p][bold]Watford4eva[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]buck-stops[/bold] wrote: Very heartening given the circumstances of the game but also very frustrating as more ground is lost to teams who i don't believe are better than us...[/p][/quote]The league don't lie[/p][/quote]True but no less frustrating. Things haven't gone our way so far. However, I'm an optimist and i don't think it's over by any means. 63 points to play for…. buck-stops
  • Score: 10

12:45pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Kismet110 says...

Great team performance and excellent comments by GS.

The support was excellent, loud and boisterous. That dive by Tom Daley was right in front of the away fans so you can imagine the reaction!

I think it may be a step too far for this season. The damage was done before GS came with that truly awful home sequence - not having a dig at Zola here, he's still a great man in my eyes made even greater by his honesty around that situation but 2 wins in the last 16 games says it all.

Hoping for an upward end, get in one or two key players in the summer, let go of the slackers and prepare for another crack at it next season.

An interesting aside; Dorset Police claimed Watford were the worst behaved supporters to visit Bournemouth this season (no arrests but there were nine ejections) yet the manager, players, supporters who travelled AND many Bournemouth supporters thought otherwise.

Goes to show just how much the passion is slowly being sucked out of this beautiful game.
Great team performance and excellent comments by GS. The support was excellent, loud and boisterous. That dive by Tom Daley was right in front of the away fans so you can imagine the reaction! I think it may be a step too far for this season. The damage was done before GS came with that truly awful home sequence - not having a dig at Zola here, he's still a great man in my eyes made even greater by his honesty around that situation but 2 wins in the last 16 games says it all. Hoping for an upward end, get in one or two key players in the summer, let go of the slackers and prepare for another crack at it next season. An interesting aside; Dorset Police claimed Watford were the worst behaved supporters to visit Bournemouth this season (no arrests but there were nine ejections) yet the manager, players, supporters who travelled AND many Bournemouth supporters thought otherwise. Goes to show just how much the passion is slowly being sucked out of this beautiful game. Kismet110
  • Score: 2

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