Beppe Sannino believes Watford would not have conceded three goals against Norwich City if they had 11 men on the pitch but says his team should have been more angry and compact during this afternoon’s 3-0 defeat.
Norwich winger Nathan Redmond ended up with a bloody nose after an off-the-ball clash with Joel Ekstrand in the second minute of the match.
The Canaries utilised their extra man well and Bradley Johnson opened the scoring in the 32nd minute. There were two more goals from Lewis Grabban and Alexander Tettey in the second half.
Sannino said: "Norwich are a good team and played well. They deserved to win today. They moved the ball well but I think a game with 11 versus 11 would be a different match. I don’t think we would concede three goals with 11 men on the pitch.”
Sannino claimed Ekstrand’s sending off just two minutes into the contest was controversial considering it was “not a clear situation”.
He had not spoken to Ekstrand or watched the video footage back when he addressed the media after the 3-0 defeat at Carrow Road.
But said: “For me it is a big decision to make in a situation which isn’t clear after just three minutes.
“I didn’t see it [the incident]. Now with serenity I will watch it and speak with Ekstrand. But now the match is finished, I am thinking about the next match.”
Sannino did not blame the defeat solely on the sending off though.
“I believe that even with one man less that you should play with more anger and be more compact. Norwich played a good match but we helped them.”
Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was chipped for the first two Norwich goals; the second with the help of a deflection.
But the head coach said: “I don’t think that we can absolutely blame Gomes today because we let the opposing players have easy shots on goal.”
He continued: “I think football is one-versus-one and it was too easy for the opponent today to shoot at our goal, not because of Gomes.”
Watford had a good spell after half-time following the introduction of Lloyd Dyer, with Lewis McGugan making way.
“Yes Dyer did well and we stretched Norwich with him and had a couple of chances to equalise early into the second half,” Sannino said.
The other two substitutions saw Matej Vydra and Almen Abdi make way for Fernando Forestieri and Keith Andrews with almost half an hour remaining.
Sannino denied the suggestion he took off Vydra and Abdi with Tuesday’s game against Rotherham in mind, saying: “It was a tactical decision because I wanted to put on players who could stretch the opposition. We wanted more of an attacking threat when we won the ball back.”
Read a report of today's game here.