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Gianfranco Zola confident he can turn things around at Watford after fourth straight defeat
Watford head coach Gianfranco Zola is confident he will turn things around at Watford despite the club suffering their fourth straight defeat last night.
Hornets fan Craig Mackail-Smith scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot to extend Brighton and Hove Albion’s impressive run and the Golden Boys’ poor form.
Watford played well though and believe they should have had at least one penalty in the final ten minutes, but both appeals were turned down by referee Darren Drysdale.
Zola said: “I have had a chat with the referee and I am hoping that he will be watching the tv tonight.
“We are all human beings; I make mistakes, the players make mistakes and the referee makes mistakes. Tonight I think he has made a few mistakes.
“I know we are here to help the referees and they make mistakes but tonight we feel strongly that we have been penalised by the decisions and I am sorry I have said that but I am a passionate guy and I can’t keep it in.”
“Our football is good to watch but we have to avoid the mistakes we are making - and we probably have to find a referee who is having a better day,” Zola added.
Brighton boss Gus Poyet, who is one of Zola’s close friends following their time together at Chelsea, also agreed Watford deserved a penalty.
Poyet said: “From the players’ point of view, everyone says they were not penalties but I would like to have a look because I would say at least one was a penalty.
“But these are the games that put you up the table. These are the games that last year we couldn’t win. Last year, we would probably have conceded two or three.
“The calibre of our team is totally different this year and the experience of the players on the pitch means they are making better decisions.”
Brighton were under pressure for much of the first half, and most of the second period, on and Watford created a few chances, with loanees Daniel Pudil and Fernando Forestieri going close.
But the visitors still created some clear-cut opportunities and goalkeeper Manuel Almunia needed to twice deny Dean Hammond from close range.
Watford took the momentum from the second half at Bolton Wanderers into last night’s clash and played some attractive football in both halves.
Zola said: “In the first 30 minutes we played good football and created a couple of chances and then they got better and we made a couple of mistakes at the back and everybody was edgy.
“So they took advantage of that and in the second half there was the penalty; I will have to look again to see if it was a penalty.
“After that there was one after another chance and honestly, I think if their penalty was a penalty then at least one of ours should have been too.
“I am very disappointed because the referee was there and he didn’t give it. It is so disappointing because my players deserved something more for that and they kept going until the end.”
Last night was Forestieri’s first start in England after his impressive cameo on Saturday and he showed signs of why Udinese signed him from Argentina in his teens.
Zola said: “He is a player who can do very good things here but he is a player, who like many of them, needs to improve his conditioning.
“He needs to play and play and then he will be a good player for us.”