Beppe Sannino welcomes the promotion pressure at Watford

Picture: Dave Peters

Picture: Dave Peters

First published in Sport by

Beppe Sannino accepts he is under pressure to guide Watford to promotion in the Championship this season but the Hornets head coach says he will embrace those high expectations.

The Italian has had a full pre-season to work with his side and mould a team which he believes can challenge for a place in the Premier League, after the disappointment of finishing 13th last time around.

Ten players have been signed and, despite receiving several transfer offers throughout the summer, the Hornets should line up against Bolton Wanderers tomorrow (Saturday) with their captain Troy Deeney in the starting XI.

Watford have built a very strong squad and, whilst they are not the favourites for promotion, expectation is that they can challenge for a spot in the automatic promotion places.

“I am always under pressure but this is the job,” Sannino said. “I want the pressure because then it gives the players the chance to play with a free mind. The pressure is only on me.”

He continued: “We hope that this season is better for the club but for me the only thing is what happens on the pitch. I will speak to the owners, to the fans and to the journalists about football but for me the most important talking is done on the pitch.

“I know the expectation of the fans and the club, there is high expectation. It is important for me to deflect the expectation and then we need to be able to grow the enthusiasm on the pitch and transfer it to the crowd.

“All the clubs start with zero points and before each season all the teams believe they can win their matches. The speaking is done on the pitch.”

The Hornets’ additions throughout the summer has seen their first-team squad swell to 33 professionals.

Sannino doesn’t believe that is a problem and said he will rotate his side throughout the campaign.

“Football is not tennis, it is a sport about the team,” he explained. “To try to win in the Championship we need everybody in the squad.

“There are 46 league matches and also games in the FA Cup and League Cup. I think the players here are intelligent and if I am right, they will realise that during the season everyone will have time to play.”

Sannino added: “I believe in having one group. We have new players and they are playing with character and with a smile.

“The new players are bringing to the group the right attitude and passion. The players that were here last season are integrated in the right way.

“The first quality I always look for is being a man and I believe there is a good standard in the squad.”

Sannino believes there are six or seven teams which could win the league in addition to Watford and that will lead to a gruelling campaign.

However, it is one he admits he has been looking forward to and says everyone at the club has been waiting for the opening day of the Championship season.

The Hornets head coach had to learn English football on the job last season and when asked what lessons he had learned during the previous campaign, he said: “I don’t want to experience the last few bad performances that we had last season again (when Watford suffered three demoralising defeats in a row).”

A strong crowd is expected for tomorrow’s clash with Bolton.

When Sannino was asked if he had a message for the club’s fans ahead of the new campaign, he simply replied: “I love you. Finish.”

Comments (16)

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12:25pm Fri 8 Aug 14

robo bovingdon says...

We will all love you if we get promoted GO FOR IT COME ON YOU HORNS
We will all love you if we get promoted GO FOR IT COME ON YOU HORNS robo bovingdon
  • Score: 19

12:31pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Hornankey says...

Interesting to hear Andrew's comments on Sky yesterday. It's a great squad on paper. Beppe is certainly under immense pressure to deliver! There is massive expectation. Let's get the season off to a flyer tomorrow!
Interesting to hear Andrew's comments on Sky yesterday. It's a great squad on paper. Beppe is certainly under immense pressure to deliver! There is massive expectation. Let's get the season off to a flyer tomorrow! Hornankey
  • Score: 23

12:59pm Fri 8 Aug 14

itsafamilyclub!!! says...

ooooooh I love you too Beppe xxx
ooooooh I love you too Beppe xxx itsafamilyclub!!!
  • Score: 14

1:03pm Fri 8 Aug 14

BobT44 says...

"Sannino doesn’t believe that is a problem and said he will rotate his side throughout the campaign"

This does concern me, but he is the manager and presumably knows best...I just hope he can do it correctly, despite the stats showing stable teams do better in getting out of the championship!

COYH - 3 points tomorrow please!
"Sannino doesn’t believe that is a problem and said he will rotate his side throughout the campaign" This does concern me, but he is the manager and presumably knows best...I just hope he can do it correctly, despite the stats showing stable teams do better in getting out of the championship! COYH - 3 points tomorrow please! BobT44
  • Score: 5

1:12pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Surbiton says...

Whatever our concerns may be. We all need to be as one come 3pm tomorrow. The Pozzo's seem to be giving it there all. Now it is up to the squad, Beppe and yes us, to get behind them. May this be the season when the Premiership becomes a reality once and for all.
Whatever our concerns may be. We all need to be as one come 3pm tomorrow. The Pozzo's seem to be giving it there all. Now it is up to the squad, Beppe and yes us, to get behind them. May this be the season when the Premiership becomes a reality once and for all. Surbiton
  • Score: 21

2:54pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Harrydownunder says...

Champions.... Champions....
Champions.... Champions.... Harrydownunder
  • Score: 3

3:49pm Fri 8 Aug 14

andyhooked says...

Rotation will be the problem. Get your best first eleven and your best three subs to change the game around. Injuries and, hopefully not many, suspensions have to be taken into account. Use the League Cup to keep others fit and let's hope we stay in the competition up to the interesting stages.
Rotation will be the problem. Get your best first eleven and your best three subs to change the game around. Injuries and, hopefully not many, suspensions have to be taken into account. Use the League Cup to keep others fit and let's hope we stay in the competition up to the interesting stages. andyhooked
  • Score: -3

4:30pm Fri 8 Aug 14

exeterhornet says...

The mention of rotation is the first time Beppe has said something that causes me concern. If it is minimal then rotation can be good, particularly after half a dozen games or so, provided its one or two players, but if he does a 'Zola at Bristol City' at say Rotherham then he is stating himself up for a fall. I like the guy and I want him to succeed but like most folk have observed, he must play his strongest 11 consistently, injuries provided of course. Good luck to the team, managers, coaches and all of us who follow our very special club, whether we attend every game or just two or three a year. We have a common cause and through unity comes strength.
I can't help thinking it might be a bumpy ride from time to time but I do believe we have it within us to achieve our objectives. I think my first game will be Rotherham followed by Leeds. To those going tomorrow, enjooooooy the game.
The mention of rotation is the first time Beppe has said something that causes me concern. If it is minimal then rotation can be good, particularly after half a dozen games or so, provided its one or two players, but if he does a 'Zola at Bristol City' at say Rotherham then he is stating himself up for a fall. I like the guy and I want him to succeed but like most folk have observed, he must play his strongest 11 consistently, injuries provided of course. Good luck to the team, managers, coaches and all of us who follow our very special club, whether we attend every game or just two or three a year. We have a common cause and through unity comes strength. I can't help thinking it might be a bumpy ride from time to time but I do believe we have it within us to achieve our objectives. I think my first game will be Rotherham followed by Leeds. To those going tomorrow, enjooooooy the game. exeterhornet
  • Score: 6

5:06pm Fri 8 Aug 14

SJM...laugh at luton says...

Really hope its a good season...

Not convinced with manager,u will all see what i mean at game tommorow,this guy has not got a clue...please get Zola back...
Really hope its a good season... Not convinced with manager,u will all see what i mean at game tommorow,this guy has not got a clue...please get Zola back... SJM...laugh at luton
  • Score: -10

5:32pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Solid Defence says...

Pretty confident that this will be our year. The team have the right balance between silky skills and now with championship experience. Reasons to be cheerful:
- Abdi back fit
- vydra back
- deeney still here
- Championship experience in Lloyd dyer ( and don't forget that the players from last year are now have championship experience!)
- 4 sided ground
- no money worries
- top class goalkeeper in Gomez

The great thing is that this is all built on solid foundations (wonky steelwork excepted). There is no desperate need to get promoted this year to pay off millions in debt like some clubs. If it doesn't happen then we go again next year with an even better squad. It's only a matter of time though.

Come on you horns
Pretty confident that this will be our year. The team have the right balance between silky skills and now with championship experience. Reasons to be cheerful: - Abdi back fit - vydra back - deeney still here - Championship experience in Lloyd dyer ( and don't forget that the players from last year are now have championship experience!) - 4 sided ground - no money worries - top class goalkeeper in Gomez The great thing is that this is all built on solid foundations (wonky steelwork excepted). There is no desperate need to get promoted this year to pay off millions in debt like some clubs. If it doesn't happen then we go again next year with an even better squad. It's only a matter of time though. Come on you horns Solid Defence
  • Score: 10

6:57pm Fri 8 Aug 14

grinns67 says...

Sacked by Xmas!!!
Sacked by Xmas!!! grinns67
  • Score: -7

7:00pm Fri 8 Aug 14

grinns67 says...

Sorry but sacked by Xmas
Sorry but sacked by Xmas grinns67
  • Score: -11

7:09pm Fri 8 Aug 14

buckler says...

Your getting sacked in September .. King Clown ! Bring on the - , want at least -150 baldy lovers .
Your getting sacked in September .. King Clown ! Bring on the - , want at least -150 baldy lovers . buckler
  • Score: -3

7:47pm Fri 8 Aug 14

rousman 2 says...

buckler wrote:
Your getting sacked in September .. King Clown ! Bring on the - , want at least -150 baldy lovers .
Sorry think you are wrong October I reckon !!!
[quote][p][bold]buckler[/bold] wrote: Your getting sacked in September .. King Clown ! Bring on the - , want at least -150 baldy lovers .[/p][/quote]Sorry think you are wrong October I reckon !!! rousman 2
  • Score: -4

3:16am Sat 9 Aug 14

green chilli says...

After four games
After four games green chilli
  • Score: -3

9:20am Sat 9 Aug 14

soulfulhornet says...

Solid Defence wrote:
Pretty confident that this will be our year. The team have the right balance between silky skills and now with championship experience. Reasons to be cheerful:
- Abdi back fit
- vydra back
- deeney still here
- Championship experience in Lloyd dyer ( and don't forget that the players from last year are now have championship experience!)
- 4 sided ground
- no money worries
- top class goalkeeper in Gomez

The great thing is that this is all built on solid foundations (wonky steelwork excepted). There is no desperate need to get promoted this year to pay off millions in debt like some clubs. If it doesn't happen then we go again next year with an even better squad. It's only a matter of time though.

Come on you horns
Good summary. Like you I am quitely confident, though I do not wish to get carried away like I did August last year. Football has its way of throwing the odd banana skin - even the mighty Man U learned that.

I think the squad is stronger this year - but so is the division. In 2012/13, we were a tad fortunate that GFZ, by his personality and status, was able to mould the team into an exciting, entertaining and successful team,especially in attack. Sadly his tactical naivety and his loyalty to the backroom staff he brought in, undid much of the good work of the play-off season.

Added to which we lost key players - Vydra, Hogg, Chalobah plus we had key injuries like Almen last term. And the defence was woeful at times (masked the previous season by the volume of goals scored).

I am still concerned about the defence - usually the teams with the best defences win through. Beppe, known in Italy for his defensive acumen coaching wise, will (hopefully) fashion a cohesive (not a word you would associate with Watford's backline of late) unit.

Like many, I am still unsure about Sannino. I do not think he is a clown, but how brave a coach is he? Can he keep all the players happy? Can he choose the best formation for a particular game ? Will he use the players in their best positions? Will he utilise the pace of our squad, which must scare our rivals to bits, to its greatest advantage,? And most importantly, can he get them playing as a team rather than a collection of talented individuals?

The jury on Beppe is still out imo. But and its a huge but, the Pozzos must have faith in his ability. They are no fools. They have kept Udinese in the top flight of Italian for 20 odd years and frequently in Europe. No English team of comparable size has managed to stay in the Premier League during that time (the smallest are Villa and Everton).

They also got Grenada into La Liga from the 3rd tier and keep them there - that's like getting a Preston or a Notts Co (no disrespect to these historic clubs) into the Prem and staying there.

So no fools, so why would they entrust the Watford project - potentially the most lucrative due to TV money - to a clown ?

However he is Watford manager, so let's get behind him and the team. COYH.
[quote][p][bold]Solid Defence[/bold] wrote: Pretty confident that this will be our year. The team have the right balance between silky skills and now with championship experience. Reasons to be cheerful: - Abdi back fit - vydra back - deeney still here - Championship experience in Lloyd dyer ( and don't forget that the players from last year are now have championship experience!) - 4 sided ground - no money worries - top class goalkeeper in Gomez The great thing is that this is all built on solid foundations (wonky steelwork excepted). There is no desperate need to get promoted this year to pay off millions in debt like some clubs. If it doesn't happen then we go again next year with an even better squad. It's only a matter of time though. Come on you horns[/p][/quote]Good summary. Like you I am quitely confident, though I do not wish to get carried away like I did August last year. Football has its way of throwing the odd banana skin - even the mighty Man U learned that. I think the squad is stronger this year - but so is the division. In 2012/13, we were a tad fortunate that GFZ, by his personality and status, was able to mould the team into an exciting, entertaining and successful team,especially in attack. Sadly his tactical naivety and his loyalty to the backroom staff he brought in, undid much of the good work of the play-off season. Added to which we lost key players - Vydra, Hogg, Chalobah plus we had key injuries like Almen last term. And the defence was woeful at times (masked the previous season by the volume of goals scored). I am still concerned about the defence - usually the teams with the best defences win through. Beppe, known in Italy for his defensive acumen coaching wise, will (hopefully) fashion a cohesive (not a word you would associate with Watford's backline of late) unit. Like many, I am still unsure about Sannino. I do not think he is a clown, but how brave a coach is he? Can he keep all the players happy? Can he choose the best formation for a particular game ? Will he use the players in their best positions? Will he utilise the pace of our squad, which must scare our rivals to bits, to its greatest advantage,? And most importantly, can he get them playing as a team rather than a collection of talented individuals? The jury on Beppe is still out imo. But and its a huge but, the Pozzos must have faith in his ability. They are no fools. They have kept Udinese in the top flight of Italian for 20 odd years and frequently in Europe. No English team of comparable size has managed to stay in the Premier League during that time (the smallest are Villa and Everton). They also got Grenada into La Liga from the 3rd tier and keep them there - that's like getting a Preston or a Notts Co (no disrespect to these historic clubs) into the Prem and staying there. So no fools, so why would they entrust the Watford project - potentially the most lucrative due to TV money - to a clown ? However he is Watford manager, so let's get behind him and the team. COYH. soulfulhornet
  • Score: 1

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