Watford have failed to win away from home in 14 matches and the Hornets players have differing views as to why they continue to struggle

Picture: Holly Cant

Picture: Holly Cant

First published in Sport by

Watford's winless away run now stands at 14 and with Beppe Sannino insisting he doesn’t approach matches on the road differently, the players’ spirit, courage and concentration have been highlighted as potential reasons for the stark contrast to their home form.

The club’s top scorer also believes failing to press the opposition in the same way is a contributing factor.

The Golden Boys have not won an away contest since October 5 whereas at Vicarage Road they are unbeaten in seven matches and prior to Tuesday’s 3-3 draw with Blackburn Rovers, had not conceded a goal in six consecutive home victories.

Sannino stated he does not change the way he sets his team up tactically depending on if the Hornets are playing home or away.

Speaking after the 2-1 defeat at Wigan Athletic on Saturday, Sannino said: “We would like to have a team of players who have knowledge of different situations on the pitch.

“It is not only tactically. I would like to see my team play the same way home and away and approach the game the same way in terms of spirit and courage. And today I saw some positives because I thought they played with more spirit and desire.

“We were today able to play much more in their half compared to other away performances in the past. So I am pleased with that.

“There is not a difference in approach, it is a matter of personality.”

“It is not only me that is frustrated, it is my players,” Sannino added. “I don’t know a single player who wants to lose a game and the supporters are frustrated as well.

“We have ten games (now nine) to try our best because I do not want to have any regrets at the end of the season.”

Troy Deeney, who scored his 18th goal of the season in midweek, also gave his honest opinion on the awful away run after the Wigan game.

He told the club’s website: “This is only my opinion but at home we go and press really high up the pitch and it just doesn’t feel like we’re doing that when we’re away.

“Obviously, wherever you’re playing, there’s going to be a spell or two when the other team is on top, but I think we’ve benefited from being positive at home and perhaps we haven’t been so certain with our game-plan when we’re on our travels.

“Maybe it comes down to self-belief; there’s no reason for us to feel any different but it would only need a handful of players to have a slightly different mentality to the thing and the outcome has the potential to be so different.”

Watford’s six-match winning run at home was halted on Tuesday night but it is still seven games unbeaten at home compared to 14 matches without a victory on the road.

On Tuesday night, Sean Murray said: “I think maybe it [the difference] is concentration. We have been conceding goals late on in games and that is fully down to concentration and not allowing ourselves to become under pressure.

"We should be coping with situations a lot better and away from home, we should be doing that a lot better.

“Keeping hold of a good scoreline from the first half has been our downfall all season. We have nine more games to improve and hopefully we can do that heading into next season.”

Comments (11)

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10:23am Fri 28 Mar 14

LoveKeithDublin says...

The manager has to take some responsibility for us conceding so many late goals - we've gone ahead in countless games but then drop deeper and deeper, making defensive substitutions along the way. Never works!
The manager has to take some responsibility for us conceding so many late goals - we've gone ahead in countless games but then drop deeper and deeper, making defensive substitutions along the way. Never works! LoveKeithDublin
  • Score: 13

11:10am Fri 28 Mar 14

bristol hornet says...

We defend too deeply at the end of games trying to protect the lead or the draw, and this invites the opposition to throw everything at us.

We cannot cope aerially against most teams, as was so obvious against Blackburn, and seeing goalkeeper Schmeichel's header during the week for a last gasp leveller against poor old Yeovil, reminded me of the seige we succumbed to at Leicester.

Very similar at Yeovil (where we got a lucky point) and also at places such as Middlesboro, Donny, Bournemouth, Forest , and Leeds where we lost very valuable points plus Bris City away in the cup as well.

We need a Fitz Hall type of character to go alongside Angella and Hoban next season, but someone who stays fit unlike dear old Fitz.
We defend too deeply at the end of games trying to protect the lead or the draw, and this invites the opposition to throw everything at us. We cannot cope aerially against most teams, as was so obvious against Blackburn, and seeing goalkeeper Schmeichel's header during the week for a last gasp leveller against poor old Yeovil, reminded me of the seige we succumbed to at Leicester. Very similar at Yeovil (where we got a lucky point) and also at places such as Middlesboro, Donny, Bournemouth, Forest , and Leeds where we lost very valuable points plus Bris City away in the cup as well. We need a Fitz Hall type of character to go alongside Angella and Hoban next season, but someone who stays fit unlike dear old Fitz. bristol hornet
  • Score: 16

11:59am Fri 28 Mar 14

gloryhornet4 says...

Tactically just adrift to drop points.
Tactically just adrift to drop points. gloryhornet4
  • Score: -1

12:09pm Fri 28 Mar 14

endean2 says...

I have been asking/demanding a proper centre half for the last couple of years,
we seem to have a mental block in that area and continually put forward
weak and ineffectual players in this vital position.
Look no further than Ekstrand, up against any physical player and he is
literally blown away, how about Macguire at Sheffield United, then again
he is not Italian so no chance.
I have been asking/demanding a proper centre half for the last couple of years, we seem to have a mental block in that area and continually put forward weak and ineffectual players in this vital position. Look no further than Ekstrand, up against any physical player and he is literally blown away, how about Macguire at Sheffield United, then again he is not Italian so no chance. endean2
  • Score: -9

12:56pm Fri 28 Mar 14

neilhorn says...

sometimes it just goes like that, we couldn't win away but have been winning at home. Now that Blackburn got a draw against us at home, we'll probably win tomorrow.

Doesn't matter anyway will only be the difference between coming 12th and 11th, still could be worse, still looking forward to next season, when we will kick off without our fans (me included) expecting us to romp it. The spotlight will be off us, might be a good thing
sometimes it just goes like that, we couldn't win away but have been winning at home. Now that Blackburn got a draw against us at home, we'll probably win tomorrow. Doesn't matter anyway will only be the difference between coming 12th and 11th, still could be worse, still looking forward to next season, when we will kick off without our fans (me included) expecting us to romp it. The spotlight will be off us, might be a good thing neilhorn
  • Score: 7

1:30pm Fri 28 Mar 14

LoveKeithDublin says...

endean2 wrote:
I have been asking/demanding a proper centre half for the last couple of years,
we seem to have a mental block in that area and continually put forward
weak and ineffectual players in this vital position.
Look no further than Ekstrand, up against any physical player and he is
literally blown away, how about Macguire at Sheffield United, then again
he is not Italian so no chance.
Agree totally on Ekstrand - not strong enough and tries to make up for it with overjealous tackles that lead to stupid free kicks given away.

In their video commenting on the other players, Deeney and Fitz said he was the softest defender ever and always on the losing side in training - tells a story I'd say.
[quote][p][bold]endean2[/bold] wrote: I have been asking/demanding a proper centre half for the last couple of years, we seem to have a mental block in that area and continually put forward weak and ineffectual players in this vital position. Look no further than Ekstrand, up against any physical player and he is literally blown away, how about Macguire at Sheffield United, then again he is not Italian so no chance.[/p][/quote]Agree totally on Ekstrand - not strong enough and tries to make up for it with overjealous tackles that lead to stupid free kicks given away. In their video commenting on the other players, Deeney and Fitz said he was the softest defender ever and always on the losing side in training - tells a story I'd say. LoveKeithDublin
  • Score: 0

3:19pm Fri 28 Mar 14

OneVoice says...

The truth is the players have never been totally fit. Physically or Mentally due to a poor pre-season and this has resulted in our failure to hold onto leads late in the game and the amount of injuries we have incurred throughout the season.
The truth is the players have never been totally fit. Physically or Mentally due to a poor pre-season and this has resulted in our failure to hold onto leads late in the game and the amount of injuries we have incurred throughout the season. OneVoice
  • Score: 1

5:51pm Fri 28 Mar 14

demerit says...

Too many foreign players probably, especially Italians, who are not used to the faster pace in the UK. When playing away, the home team always attacks more. Less of a problem in the Premiership because most teams are full of foreign players. Just a theory...
Too many foreign players probably, especially Italians, who are not used to the faster pace in the UK. When playing away, the home team always attacks more. Less of a problem in the Premiership because most teams are full of foreign players. Just a theory... demerit
  • Score: -4

10:19pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Hornankey says...

The two main causes of our conceding late goals are tactical naivety (including inappropriate substitutions) and the lack of on-field leadership.
The two main causes of our conceding late goals are tactical naivety (including inappropriate substitutions) and the lack of on-field leadership. Hornankey
  • Score: 1

12:11am Sat 29 Mar 14

matey_from_brighton says...

demerit wrote:
Too many foreign players probably, especially Italians, who are not used to the faster pace in the UK. When playing away, the home team always attacks more. Less of a problem in the Premiership because most teams are full of foreign players. Just a theory...
foreign players didn't do so bad last year when we had the best away record in our history though. Agree with other posters though that our fitness must be questioned when we let in late goals so often (but never score a winner ourselves in same way). It has been going on for a couple of years now and needs to be addressed somehow for next season.
[quote][p][bold]demerit[/bold] wrote: Too many foreign players probably, especially Italians, who are not used to the faster pace in the UK. When playing away, the home team always attacks more. Less of a problem in the Premiership because most teams are full of foreign players. Just a theory...[/p][/quote]foreign players didn't do so bad last year when we had the best away record in our history though. Agree with other posters though that our fitness must be questioned when we let in late goals so often (but never score a winner ourselves in same way). It has been going on for a couple of years now and needs to be addressed somehow for next season. matey_from_brighton
  • Score: 0

8:48am Sat 29 Mar 14

demerit says...

matey_from_brighton wrote:
demerit wrote:
Too many foreign players probably, especially Italians, who are not used to the faster pace in the UK. When playing away, the home team always attacks more. Less of a problem in the Premiership because most teams are full of foreign players. Just a theory...
foreign players didn't do so bad last year when we had the best away record in our history though. Agree with other posters though that our fitness must be questioned when we let in late goals so often (but never score a winner ourselves in same way). It has been going on for a couple of years now and needs to be addressed somehow for next season.
Yes but an exception always proves the rule. I admit that not all foreign players can be put into one stereotype. Last year we had players with more flair like that firework Vydra and solid Abdi who not only held the midfield but was also having loads of pops at goal.

Anyway Matey, we ought to share the petrol next match. I must live less than 3 miles from you!
[quote][p][bold]matey_from_brighton[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]demerit[/bold] wrote: Too many foreign players probably, especially Italians, who are not used to the faster pace in the UK. When playing away, the home team always attacks more. Less of a problem in the Premiership because most teams are full of foreign players. Just a theory...[/p][/quote]foreign players didn't do so bad last year when we had the best away record in our history though. Agree with other posters though that our fitness must be questioned when we let in late goals so often (but never score a winner ourselves in same way). It has been going on for a couple of years now and needs to be addressed somehow for next season.[/p][/quote]Yes but an exception always proves the rule. I admit that not all foreign players can be put into one stereotype. Last year we had players with more flair like that firework Vydra and solid Abdi who not only held the midfield but was also having loads of pops at goal. Anyway Matey, we ought to share the petrol next match. I must live less than 3 miles from you! demerit
  • Score: 0

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