Zola delighted after victory

Gianfranco Zola praised Watford's character after they ground out a 1-0 Championship victory over Wigan, while Owen Coyle thought his side had a perfectly good goal disallowed.

Last Updated: 29/09/13 at 07:40 Post Comment

Gianfranco Zola: Pleased with his side

Gianfranco Zola: Pleased with his side

The only goal of a tight game with few chances came with eight minutes remaining when Cristian Battocchio fired home from the edge of the area after a Davide Faraoni shot had been blocked.

Hornets head coach Zola said: "I think it was probably one of the toughest games I've had since I've been here.

"A typical game between two top teams and where the values of the teams are very similar so there's a kind of balance, equilibrium on the pitch and you just have to be patient, keep working hard and wait for your opportunity to come and try to score.

"That's exactly what happened today. Don't forget also it was the fifth game in two weeks and that counts and so the quality of the game cannot be fantastic.

"But we showed a lot of character to win this game and that is something that will be very important from now and until the end of the season."

It looked like the game was heading for a goalless stalemate until Battocchio scored and Zola acknowleged: "The game was completely flat.

"We were not creating enough, they were not creating enough. They were good to be honest because they press well all over the pitch and they kept the ball quite well.

"That was the difficulty because it was difficult for us to keep the ball and it was tough to get it back today because of the quality, experience they have in the side.

"Then we tried to change it. We sacrificed one midfielder for another striker to try and change the balance and it worked - and I'm delighted."

Nick Powell looked to have given Wigan the lead in the first half but it was ruled out for an offside decision against James McClean, who had crossed the ball.

Zola admitted "it wasn't offside" and Latics boss Owen Coyle was also aggrieved because he felt should have had a penalty in the second half when Powell was challenged by Lloyd Doyley in the 18-yard box.

"There's no debate," Coyle said. "James McClean's a yard-and-a-half onside. We knew at the time. Bizarre doesn't cover it.

"We were terrific today. Watford are a very good side and will challenge as we will to get back to the Premier League but to come here and give the level of performance we did with our fourth game in nine days, the players were an absolute credit.

"We lost (Marc-Antoine) Fortune [to injury in the first half] and had to change things again but it didn't affect the team because they were outstanding.

"We scored a perfectly good goal - I don't envy the referee, or the officials, their job - but at this level, we understand little fouls sometimes you'll get, sometimes you won't - but you've got to get the major decisions right."

The Wigan boss continued: "We had a stonewall penalty in the second half at 0-0 when Powell's robbed Doyley, Doyley's kicked him and you know Doyley's kicked him straight away because he's put his hands up in the air. The whole stadium knew it was a penalty and it's not given.

"We should still be leaving at 0-0 and obviously the lad's finished a great goal, all credit to him, but the deflection obviously went their way so probably every bit of luck that was going went Watford's way today.

"I can't fault the players and how they went about it today. We know we've come off the wrong side of two huge decisions and both 0-0 at the time.

"There's no doubt that certainly would have put us in front and then enough to win us the game."

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e doesn't need a caoch. He needs a bus. A bloody big one, that he can park across the goal line. And when he gets one, he can do us a favour and let us know where we can buy one from as well.

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: No defence coach

Y

ou are wrong Per, thats the right way the play. Its everyone elses' fault that it doesnt work.

delboy
Mertesacker urges style change

A

s it's panto season coming soon, let me be the first Oh yes you do

munchie
Rodgers: No defence coach

Footer 365

La Liga: Carlo Ancelotti praises 'professional' Real Madrid after 3-1 Barcelona win

Carlo Ancelotti praised Real Madrid's "unique professionalism" after they came from a goal down to beat Barcelona.

Premier League: Mauricio Pochettino says Alan Pardew deserves more respect

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino admits it is tough not to feel sorry for Newcastle counterpart Alan Pardew.

La Liga: Luis Enrique stands by Luis Suarez selection after Barcelona defeat

Luis Enrique defended his decision to start Luis Suarez against Real Madrid after his team slumped to a 3-1 defeat.

Mail Box

'Goals Like That Can Make You Pregnant'

Those being sniffy about Erik Lamela's rabona are given short shrift in the afternoon mailbox, where criticism of Brendan Rodgers is smashed out of the park...

Does David De Gea Need Competition?

It would certainly be a good idea to give Victor Valdes a contract, while we have more mails on Brendan Rodgers, Arsene Wenger, the rabona and mailbox gripes...

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