The Madejski Stadium

Next Game

Reading v Swansea

Saturday, 02 August 2014, 15:00

Friendly Match

Broadhall Way

Last Game

Stevenage 0 - 0 Reading

Tuesday, 29 July 2014, 19:30

Friendly Match

Zola hails fighting spirit

Gianfranco Zola praised his side's never say die attitude as Watford came from behind to earn a 3-3 draw at Reading, whose boss Nigel Adkins was disappointed.

Last Updated: 19/08/13 at 13:47 Post Comment

Gianfranco Zola: Praised his side's attitude after draw

Gianfranco Zola: Praised his side's attitude after draw

The home side led for much of the game thanks to goals from Adam Le Fondre and a brace from Jem Karacan, but Watford hit back with efforts from Marco Faraoni, Troy Deeney and a last-minute strike from Diego Fabbrini.

The point maintains Watford's unbeaten start to the Sky Bet Championship season and manager Zola was pleased with his team's fighting spirit.

He said: "It feels good not to lose that game. It was difficult to see how we could get anything at half-time when we were 2-0 down.

"I told the players at half-time that it was not enough. I thought we were scratching their back and they were punishing us.

"It pleased me that we never gave up. That is the good thing about this side, sides can score one or two goals against us but we will not be beaten easily. I am delighted we have that quality.

"There are a lot of new players in the squad and lots of them are foreign and maybe they thought that the game builds slowly like in some other leagues, but they need to learn to start games with a high intensity or they will be punished."

Reading took the lead in the eighth minute through a brilliant Le Fondre volley on the edge of the area.

The home side then doubled their advantage before the break when Karacan bundled the ball over the line from close range.

But Watford fought back thanks to a header from Faraoni and a Deeney penalty either side of Karacan's second goal from close range to make it 3-2 heading into the dying moments.

The visitors refused to give in and earned a point right at the end when Fabbrini beat Alex McCarthy to prod the ball over the line from a Lewis McGugan deflected shot.

Reading manager Nigel Adkins was disappointed to see his side fail to hold on for the win but praised the quality of the match.

He said: "It was a cracking game of football. It really was. But for a late deflection we could have won the game.

"We changed our formation to play against a side who are very good. We got on the front foot. It was an excellent goal from Adam Le Fondre and then we did well to go in at half-time 2-0 up and we deserved that.

"They got themselves back in it with a header but then Jem got his second and at 3-1 up you are in a good position and then we gave away a penalty.

"Was it a penalty, wasn't it? It doesn't really matter because it was given by the assistant referee. And then it was game on and very exciting and they got a goal at the end.

"The game was far too open and we gave possession away too easily we could not see the game out thanks to a deflection falling into the path of their player.

"There were a lot of positives going forward and we played good football, and but for a late deflection we could have been celebrating."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

Footer 365

Premier League: Yaya Toure happy to stay at Manchester City

Yaya Toure has reaffirmed his commitment to Manchester City, insisting he wants to stay for "as long as possible".

Champions League: Henning Berg hopeful of Legia Warsaw's chances against Celtic

Legia Warsaw boss Henning Berg hopes his side can get a positive result against Celtic in their Champions League tie.

Premier League: Ross Barkley signs new four-year contract at Everton

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley has signed a new four-year deal with the club.

Mail Box

Youth Development Has To Be The Future

A varied Mailbox has thoughts on transfer targets, youth development, the obsession over 3-5-2, some innovative Blackpool suggestions and why Real bought Kroos...

Don't You Worry About Southampton...

We can't help but agree with one mailboxer who tries to calm the crisis-mongers gathering around Southampton, while we have mails on Man United's squad...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property