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Watford boss Gianfranco Zola says his players will need to keep their heads in crucial Crystal Palace clash
Gianfranco Zola believes his Watford players will take added motivation from tonight's game being televised but stressed it is vital they keep their heads too.
Not only will the match with Crystal Palace be broadcasted live on Sky Sports and against a team just one place below them in the Championship, but the Hornets also know a win will lift them into the two automatic promotion spots, for a few hours at least.
Zola believes that means the players will certainly be fired up for the clash but insists it will be important the team stay focused on the task in hand.
"I think there are many reasons to be motivated tomorrow," the Watford head coach said. "I don’t think they will need much pushing from me.
"More than anything, the key tomorrow will be to focus on the things we need to do in order for us to play in games like tomorrow (televised games against promotion rivals).
"The rest is extra. The vital thing is that each player remembers what he has to do in order to make sure we compete and that we win the game."
In December, Watford's match against promotion-rivals Brighton & Hove Albion was televised and the Hornets produced one of their best displays of the campaign, winning 3-1 away from home.
Zola hopes the players will respond to the limelight in a similarly positive fashion this evening.
He said: "The players have ambitions, the fact that tomorrow they will be on television will boost them even more – that’s what happened against Brighton when we played such a good game. So yes I’m hoping it will be the same tomorrow and we will see what happens.
"It’s a great opportunity; as I said, there are many players who want to show how good they are and how much they have improved and I’m sure they will try very hard to impress."
The Hornets have been in fine form of late as four wins from five have seen Zola's men close the gap on second-placed Leicester City to just one point - albeit having play one game more.
And the Italian believes the match against Crystal Palace - currently fifth in the Championship - will be another chance for Watford to show their promotion credentials.
"It’s another opportunity," he said.
"We have done it already before when we played a vital game against Brighton and we did very well on television and we’re looking forward to doing exactly the same.
"I know it’s not going to be easy because we are playing a team who, like us, have ambitions to go up so it’s a tough game but we think we are prepared for that."
On Palace boss Ian Holloway, Zola added: "He’s a character but he’s a good manager above all.
"He certainly prepares for the game well so we will be required to play a good game to win."
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