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Watford boss Beppe Sannino praises Hornets' stamina after battling 1-0 win over Birmingham City
Watford head coach Beppe Sannino praised his team's stamina after the Hornets' 1-0 win over Birmingham City and singled out Troy Deeney and Marco Cassetti for special praise.
Deeney's strike in the 33rd minute proved the difference between the two sides as Watford held on for a morale-boosting victory which sees them move up to 13th in the Championship.
The match came three days after the 2-2 draw at Leicester City on Saturday and Sannino rotated his side as Ikechi Anya (calf) and Fitz Hall (Achilles) were left out as a precaution while Sean Murray was rested.
"First of all it’s important to underline we did some rotation and were still able to win the game," Sannino said.
"We haven't complained about that and I have to pay compliments to my players because they have been able to keep the focus high and win the game."
He continued: "I think in the first half we were the better side on the pitch. We only conceded one shot on goal when they hit the bar but I think in the box for us there were a couple of times when we deserved something more than we got.
"In the second half it is normal to expect them to show a response because they were losing but I cant remember Almunia making any difficult saves."
Cassetti started at the centre of the back three for the second consecutive match and the Italian impressed with an assured display.
Sannino was pleased with the veteran's performance and hailed his, and Deeney's, contribution to the win.
"I think Troy Deeney and Marco Cassetti were brilliant tonight," Sannino said.
"Troy missed the ball and then he scored and he is a great player for this reason.
"He was able to stay standing and this is a good quality - I have seen it many times when a player would fall over in that situation."
Watford are nine points behind the last play-off spot with a game in hand but Sannino was coy when asked if the Hornets could still make the top six.
"I'm not watching the table at the moment," he insisted. "What I am watching is match after match.
"On Saturday we have another match which is very important and from tomorrow we have to start thinking about the next game against Middlesbrough.
"Today’s game belongs to the past now."