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Gianfranco Zola says he is excited about Watford's future and he almost knows his best XI
Gianfranco Zola states the way his side have played at times this season makes him excited about the future of Watford and believes he is now close to knowing his best XI.
The Hornets have played some outstanding football this season but it has often been for 20 or 30-minute periods and has not produced points.
Zola said: “There are moments when I see the team play in a certain way where I get very excited and I am sure this can be a very good time for all of us.
“I am excited because I am not looking at the now; I am looking at how the team will look soon and when we are winning games.
“It makes me excited for all of the people involved with the club and about the type of football we will play.”
Zola admits he is still learning about the Championship, as are most of the summer signings, and believes they will only become better with time.
The Chelsea legend described the season so far as “intense” and has learned about the division’s unpredictable nature quickly.
There is no Watford game this weekend due to the international fixtures but Zola has stressed he will be using the break to improve the squad’s fitness, which has been an issue for some of the players this season.
Speaking on Wednesday, he said: “It gives me an opportunity to work hard on the physical condition and we will do more at the beginning of next week.
“It is the last chance before the end of the season where we can work in this certain way. It is very much work at the moment but the boys will have the weekend off to recover from the work we did this week and get ready for next week.”
Zola was appointed head coach in July but injuries and fitness issues mean he has yet to have a single week where the whole squad has been available.
With the likes of Alex Geijo and Cristian Battocchio returning to full fitness and the number of absentees reducing, Zola looks set for some selection dilemmas.
However, the Italian claimed: “It will not be difficult because we play so many games and obviously when everybody is fit and ready, when you have three games on a spin like we did recently, you can afford to make changes and not lose too much quality.”
When asked if he knows his best XI yet, Zola replied: “Yes I know it more or less. But there are a few positions that are a bit of a challenge where players have a chance to play. Also, John Eustace will be coming back and challenging the ones playing.
“I have an idea on what the team has to be pretty much but there are positions where I can afford to play one player or the other because there is not much difference between them.”
The 16 summer signings mean Watford have 42 professional players and even if you subtract those out on loan, there is still a squad of 37.
Zola accepts those who are not featuring will not be pleased but when asked if there has been any sign of unrest in the squad, said: “No not yet, not really. You cannot pretend that they are all smiles but they know the situation and to be honest, they are making it easy for me and for themselves.”
The former Parma and Napoli forward has stated in the past that he likes to work with a small squad and with the loan window open for more than a month, Zola admitted he did expect more players to have left by now.
The head coach said: “Ideally maybe some of the players should go and play some games because there are players who are not playing much and haven’t been involved as much.
“It would be good for them to get games but it hasn’t happened yet. We will see whether it happens.”
Zola also revealed the club will be playing a behind-closed-doors friendly next week.