Next Game

B'mouth v Watford

Friday, 30 January 2015, 19:45

Sky Bet Ch'ship

Last Game

Watford 7 - 2 Blackpool

Saturday, 24 January 2015, 15:00

Sky Bet Ch'ship

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

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

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."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

he thing is, footballers are role models, and children are influenced by them. I watched the Chelsea game with my 6 year old, and at school the next day she stamped on Emre Can.

megabrow (cufc)
Diego Costa: The Patron Saint Of S**thousery

Y

et again Barcelona try to convince the world that they only play the most virtuous of football. I've never seen a team so willing and able to dish out lumps but feel so self-righteous that no opposition player should ever have the audacity to tackle them.

charsmatcengma
Enrique hauls Neymar to safety

I

d love to see a United v Liverpool FA cup final. It would certainly fit the narrative. Obv I'd want the ending to be one of an O.G. and tears as he collects his runner-up medal.

GVMUFC
Gerrard Constantly Searching For That Final Hurrah

Footer 365

Eden Hazard: 'Chelsea need Diego Costa'

Eden Hazard admits Chelsea 'need' Diego Costa as he faces a three-match ban for a stamp on Emre Can on Tuesday night.

Copa del Rey: Luis Enrique says Neymar had to be substituted against Atletico Madrid to prevent injury

Luis Enrique says he had to substitute Neymar to prevent him from being injured in an ugly cup tie with Atletico.

Capital One Cup: Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino pleased to overcome challenging tie with Sheffield United

Mauricio Pochettino dedicated Tottenham's Capital One Cup semi-final triumph over Sheffield United to the fans.

Mail Box

But Biting Doesn't Hurt Like Stamping...

There are Liverpool fans arguing that Luis Suarez is nowhere near Diego Costa's sh*t-house league but we have plenty of love for the agitator too. Oh and Spurs...

Erm... Balotelli To QPR..?

It's an afternoon Mailbox that offers the reaction to the reaction, with a defence for Diego Costa offered, and Balotelli mooted to move to QPR. Plus a silly idea about the Mails...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company