Watford boss Gianfranco Zola: 'I'm delighted with the way we are defending'

Picture: Action Images

Picture: Action Images

First published in Watford FC News

Gianfranco Zola was delighted with the way his side defended against Leicester City at the weekend and expects his side to continue to improve at the back.

Watford were impressive on Saturday and they deservedly beat Leicester City 2-1 thanks to goals by Almen Abdi and Fernando Forestieri.

Zola said: "It was very good to win against a really strong side who are one of the best teams we have played against.

"They made it very difficult for us but there were times in the game where we played very well.

"I thought the first goal was excellent and the movement of the team was very good. After that, we kept playing good stuff but after 30 minutes they came back strong and they made it difficult.

"But fortunately we did not concede in the first half and in the second half we changed gear. So it was a good performance and I was really pleased with it."

Forestieri set up the first goal and scored what proved to be the winner in the second half, but Zola stressed it wasn't the Argentine's best performance for Watford and believes young centre back Tommie Hoban was even more impressive.

Despite two defeats heading into Saturday's clash, the Hornets have been better defensively in the last month or so and that continued against Leicester.

Zola said: "We have been defending well. When we played against Cardiff, we ended up with nine men and before then, even with ten men, we were defending well. It was the same again at Blackburn.

"It is about finding the balance between defending well and at the same time causing problems for the opposition. We are going to get there.

"I am delighted with the way we are defending and we are going to keep working on it."

Comments (22)

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11:16am Mon 5 Nov 12

Smilingburkinshaw says...

''the Hornets have been more better defensively''

Does anyone know if Fitz Hall is going to be fit? We are more better defensively if he plays.

Will need him against a physical Millwall front line!
''the Hornets have been more better defensively'' Does anyone know if Fitz Hall is going to be fit? We are more better defensively if he plays. Will need him against a physical Millwall front line! Smilingburkinshaw
  • Score: 0

11:18am Mon 5 Nov 12

Smilingburkinshaw says...

The WO has now corrected their mistake so my post doesn't make much sense!
The WO has now corrected their mistake so my post doesn't make much sense! Smilingburkinshaw
  • Score: 0

11:18am Mon 5 Nov 12

Bringe says...

Zola is not just a pretty face and these are not just sound bites - his intelligence almost matches mine xD

He is bang on though, you need a balance or you'll just end up with a lot of goalless draws ... and with it relegation ultimately.
Zola is not just a pretty face and these are not just sound bites - his intelligence almost matches mine xD He is bang on though, you need a balance or you'll just end up with a lot of goalless draws ... and with it relegation ultimately. Bringe
  • Score: 0

11:36am Mon 5 Nov 12

WatfordTalk says...

I thought we were still defending a little too deep towards the end on saturday but we never really dropped into our box which is an improvement.

Also, we counter-attacked very well and would've scored another couple of goals but for a couple of poor decisions.

If Fitz is fit for tuesday, I think we'll win. If not, i would be reasonably happy with a draw against an in-form Millwall side.
I thought we were still defending a little too deep towards the end on saturday but we never really dropped into our box which is an improvement. Also, we counter-attacked very well and would've scored another couple of goals but for a couple of poor decisions. If Fitz is fit for tuesday, I think we'll win. If not, i would be reasonably happy with a draw against an in-form Millwall side. WatfordTalk
  • Score: 0

11:45am Mon 5 Nov 12

Bringe says...

Gianfranco Zola will NEVER settle for a draw before a ball has been kicked
Gianfranco Zola will NEVER settle for a draw before a ball has been kicked Bringe
  • Score: 0

11:45am Mon 5 Nov 12

londomollari says...

I have been critical in the past of the defending, but in the last few matches it has been vastly improved---due to Fitzhall, the impressive Hoban and, suprisingly, the excellent contribution of Doyley. We need Fitz fit---!
I have been critical in the past of the defending, but in the last few matches it has been vastly improved---due to Fitzhall, the impressive Hoban and, suprisingly, the excellent contribution of Doyley. We need Fitz fit---! londomollari
  • Score: 0

11:56am Mon 5 Nov 12

Only 2 Ross Jenkins says...

Why is Doyley's excellent contribution suprising? The best one on one defender at the club (not something I have made up but something re-iterated time and time again by previous and current managers.)
Why is Doyley's excellent contribution suprising? The best one on one defender at the club (not something I have made up but something re-iterated time and time again by previous and current managers.) Only 2 Ross Jenkins
  • Score: 0

12:52pm Mon 5 Nov 12

Mr.Miggins says...

Fair point above mate but his defending has never been in doubt, we all know he is more than reliable when one on one. The real improvement (and surprising one at that) has been his composure on the ball. The amount of time I've seen Lloyd shank one out of play etc and now he looks calm and composed on the ball. So pleased he has forced his way back into the side and has really come on leaps and bounds. Credit to the coaches and credit to Lloyd for adapting, again.

Must also say on the subject of defending that I thought Cassetti was excellent on Saturday. Not his biggest fan but he used all his experience and quality to deal with some very quick and tricky Leicester wingers.
Fair point above mate but his defending has never been in doubt, we all know he is more than reliable when one on one. The real improvement (and surprising one at that) has been his composure on the ball. The amount of time I've seen Lloyd shank one out of play etc and now he looks calm and composed on the ball. So pleased he has forced his way back into the side and has really come on leaps and bounds. Credit to the coaches and credit to Lloyd for adapting, again. Must also say on the subject of defending that I thought Cassetti was excellent on Saturday. Not his biggest fan but he used all his experience and quality to deal with some very quick and tricky Leicester wingers. Mr.Miggins
  • Score: 0

1:24pm Mon 5 Nov 12

Only 2 Ross Jenkins says...

Agreed he no longer shanks them out of play! However, under previous regimes perhaps he was instructed to "go long", leading to more misplaced passes (and he wasn't the only one!!). Technically, he's better than many people give him credit for, it's just that sometmes he looks rather akward. Just a thought.
Agreed he no longer shanks them out of play! However, under previous regimes perhaps he was instructed to "go long", leading to more misplaced passes (and he wasn't the only one!!). Technically, he's better than many people give him credit for, it's just that sometmes he looks rather akward. Just a thought. Only 2 Ross Jenkins
  • Score: 0

2:33pm Mon 5 Nov 12

jasonwatford says...

Doyley has always looked clueless when the ball was at his feet but maybe this was because he had no direction or players around that wanted the ball off him ? Many a time it was just a long punt upfield where now he passes the ball with confidence. I saw him play 2 very intelligent balls on saturday. Prefer Neuton as he is a much better player but doyley can do a job if needed.
Doyley has always looked clueless when the ball was at his feet but maybe this was because he had no direction or players around that wanted the ball off him ? Many a time it was just a long punt upfield where now he passes the ball with confidence. I saw him play 2 very intelligent balls on saturday. Prefer Neuton as he is a much better player but doyley can do a job if needed. jasonwatford
  • Score: 0

2:45pm Mon 5 Nov 12

Only 2 Ross Jenkins says...

Neuton looks a class act when on the ball (some work to do defensively maybe?)
Neuton looks a class act when on the ball (some work to do defensively maybe?) Only 2 Ross Jenkins
  • Score: 0

3:06pm Mon 5 Nov 12

londomollari says...

Agreed, Neuton looks an excellent footballer, but I don't think it's a coincidence that the defense has looked more solid whilst he has been out. As you have said, he needs to do some work defensively. My suprise about Doyley was about how he has adapted to the current team requirements
Agreed, Neuton looks an excellent footballer, but I don't think it's a coincidence that the defense has looked more solid whilst he has been out. As you have said, he needs to do some work defensively. My suprise about Doyley was about how he has adapted to the current team requirements londomollari
  • Score: 0

3:10pm Mon 5 Nov 12

lutondown says...

londomollari wrote:
Agreed, Neuton looks an excellent footballer, but I don't think it's a coincidence that the defense has looked more solid whilst he has been out. As you have said, he needs to do some work defensively. My suprise about Doyley was about how he has adapted to the current team requirements
Me too and full credit to the man. He deserves our accolades for keep proving (some of) us wrong!
If Zola rates him, who are we to argue?
[quote][p][bold]londomollari[/bold] wrote: Agreed, Neuton looks an excellent footballer, but I don't think it's a coincidence that the defense has looked more solid whilst he has been out. As you have said, he needs to do some work defensively. My suprise about Doyley was about how he has adapted to the current team requirements[/p][/quote]Me too and full credit to the man. He deserves our accolades for keep proving (some of) us wrong! If Zola rates him, who are we to argue? lutondown
  • Score: 0

3:17pm Mon 5 Nov 12

joners in spain says...

as i live in Spain. I purchased Hornets Player a couple of weeks ago, so that i can hear the whole match. I guess the next best thing to being there. The only problem with that is now i am sitting on the edge of my seat,nearly having a heart attack. things don't change from when i was sitting there watching them. It was agood suggestion from S A Hornet to sign up. Only down side to the hornets player, they only show 2/3 minutes of the highlights,which is a bit dissapointing, with all the fantastic football That G Z has got them playing. Looking forward to the Millwall game, be great to get another win at home
Read all the blogs. Come on guys ,do you wind each other up on purpose. Anyway onwards and upwards.
as i live in Spain. I purchased Hornets Player a couple of weeks ago, so that i can hear the whole match. I guess the next best thing to being there. The only problem with that is now i am sitting on the edge of my seat,nearly having a heart attack. things don't change from when i was sitting there watching them. It was agood suggestion from S A Hornet to sign up. Only down side to the hornets player, they only show 2/3 minutes of the highlights,which is a bit dissapointing, with all the fantastic football That G Z has got them playing. Looking forward to the Millwall game, be great to get another win at home Read all the blogs. Come on guys ,do you wind each other up on purpose. Anyway onwards and upwards. joners in spain
  • Score: 0

3:20pm Mon 5 Nov 12

lutondown says...

joners in spain wrote:
as i live in Spain. I purchased Hornets Player a couple of weeks ago, so that i can hear the whole match. I guess the next best thing to being there. The only problem with that is now i am sitting on the edge of my seat,nearly having a heart attack. things don't change from when i was sitting there watching them. It was agood suggestion from S A Hornet to sign up. Only down side to the hornets player, they only show 2/3 minutes of the highlights,which is a bit dissapointing, with all the fantastic football That G Z has got them playing. Looking forward to the Millwall game, be great to get another win at home
Read all the blogs. Come on guys ,do you wind each other up on purpose. Anyway onwards and upwards.
I listened to the Cardiff game live, it killed me, easier to go!
As for the banter? It's what it is.some people get a little serious about it, some wont accept change and then there's those who just won't admit that Luton down is always right!
You horns
[quote][p][bold]joners in spain[/bold] wrote: as i live in Spain. I purchased Hornets Player a couple of weeks ago, so that i can hear the whole match. I guess the next best thing to being there. The only problem with that is now i am sitting on the edge of my seat,nearly having a heart attack. things don't change from when i was sitting there watching them. It was agood suggestion from S A Hornet to sign up. Only down side to the hornets player, they only show 2/3 minutes of the highlights,which is a bit dissapointing, with all the fantastic football That G Z has got them playing. Looking forward to the Millwall game, be great to get another win at home Read all the blogs. Come on guys ,do you wind each other up on purpose. Anyway onwards and upwards.[/p][/quote]I listened to the Cardiff game live, it killed me, easier to go! As for the banter? It's what it is.some people get a little serious about it, some wont accept change and then there's those who just won't admit that Luton down is always right! You horns lutondown
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Mon 5 Nov 12

jimbowfc says...

I have always thought Doyley was a better CB than a FB.

Therefore, IMO although playing in a back three is not exactly a CB position, it is more like playing CB than playing as an out and out FB in a back four, and it suits him better.
I have always thought Doyley was a better CB than a FB. Therefore, IMO although playing in a back three is not exactly a CB position, it is more like playing CB than playing as an out and out FB in a back four, and it suits him better. jimbowfc
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Mon 5 Nov 12

Hornet Cornet says...

I havent been impressed wih our defending from the 90 minute mark. Maybe it's just me, not being full of glee, yet sat with some tea, but i do need a wee, GZ is twee, he's not a she but is a he.
I havent been impressed wih our defending from the 90 minute mark. Maybe it's just me, not being full of glee, yet sat with some tea, but i do need a wee, GZ is twee, he's not a she but is a he. Hornet Cornet
  • Score: 0

3:57pm Mon 5 Nov 12

Mickey Quinn, not so thin says...

Any news on Fitz ? Really need him tomorrow. Not the game to bring Neuton back (f available) and Ekstrand looked like he was injured in the warm up....limited cover, the downside to having a wafer-thin squad !
Any news on Fitz ? Really need him tomorrow. Not the game to bring Neuton back (f available) and Ekstrand looked like he was injured in the warm up....limited cover, the downside to having a wafer-thin squad ! Mickey Quinn, not so thin
  • Score: 0

5:10pm Mon 5 Nov 12

garston 'orn says...

Can't believe Doyley has survived another manager! thought he would be the first to go with the new style of football. He seems to be a better player, still grimace when he recieves the ball adn starts running
Can't believe Doyley has survived another manager! thought he would be the first to go with the new style of football. He seems to be a better player, still grimace when he recieves the ball adn starts running garston 'orn
  • Score: 0

5:22pm Mon 5 Nov 12

Bringe says...

Doyley=Legend .... no question
Doyley=Legend .... no question Bringe
  • Score: 0

5:29pm Mon 5 Nov 12

SAHornet says...

joners in spain wrote:
as i live in Spain. I purchased Hornets Player a couple of weeks ago, so that i can hear the whole match. I guess the next best thing to being there. The only problem with that is now i am sitting on the edge of my seat,nearly having a heart attack. things don't change from when i was sitting there watching them. It was agood suggestion from S A Hornet to sign up. Only down side to the hornets player, they only show 2/3 minutes of the highlights,which is a bit dissapointing, with all the fantastic football That G Z has got them playing. Looking forward to the Millwall game, be great to get another win at home
Read all the blogs. Come on guys ,do you wind each other up on purpose. Anyway onwards and upwards.
Glad to help joners, old fella. Watch out after the highlights though as occasionally Player puts out an extended highlights version that normally lasts about 20 mins. Having said that, they haven't done it for a few weeks. When I listen to live games here in SA, my missus goes out for the afternoon or evening. She says she can't hear the TV when I'm yelling and swearing so loud from the office, even through a closed door.
[quote][p][bold]joners in spain[/bold] wrote: as i live in Spain. I purchased Hornets Player a couple of weeks ago, so that i can hear the whole match. I guess the next best thing to being there. The only problem with that is now i am sitting on the edge of my seat,nearly having a heart attack. things don't change from when i was sitting there watching them. It was agood suggestion from S A Hornet to sign up. Only down side to the hornets player, they only show 2/3 minutes of the highlights,which is a bit dissapointing, with all the fantastic football That G Z has got them playing. Looking forward to the Millwall game, be great to get another win at home Read all the blogs. Come on guys ,do you wind each other up on purpose. Anyway onwards and upwards.[/p][/quote]Glad to help joners, old fella. Watch out after the highlights though as occasionally Player puts out an extended highlights version that normally lasts about 20 mins. Having said that, they haven't done it for a few weeks. When I listen to live games here in SA, my missus goes out for the afternoon or evening. She says she can't hear the TV when I'm yelling and swearing so loud from the office, even through a closed door. SAHornet
  • Score: 0

12:52am Tue 6 Nov 12

YellowShirtsOnly says...

I'm delighted as well but was nervous at the end when they started sending bombs into the 18 yard box. We still sit way to deep in the closing minutes ITS SO SCARY!
I'm delighted as well but was nervous at the end when they started sending bombs into the 18 yard box. We still sit way to deep in the closing minutes ITS SO SCARY! YellowShirtsOnly
  • Score: 0

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