Next Game

Watford v Cardiff

Saturday, 29 November 2014, 15:00

Sky Bet Ch'ship

Last Game

Watford 1 - 2 Derby

Saturday, 22 November 2014, 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

M

eanwhile, England's best U21 players playing with those most likely to be in the senior team from 2020 onwards might increase their chances in those tournaments to a point where they could actually be potential winners. Unlike 2016.

shagwa
Wenger warns Hodgson

I

m not a doctor, but the cause is likely to be crap dancing after scoring. My prognosis is we may need to take that leg off.

GVMUFC
Rodgers reveals Sturridge woe

F

or the time being we just have to focus on the players we do have, Rodgers said. We have to make the best of what is available. Jesus wept!

rodger's gusset
Rodgers reveals Sturridge woe

Footer 365

Premier League: Tottenham's Christian Eriksen secures dramatic win at Hull

Christian Eriksen snatched a late winner as Tottenham fought back to claim a 2-1 victory over 10-man Hull.

Premier League: Crystal Palace come from behind to stun Liverpool

Liverpool endured another forgettable afternoon at Selhurst Park on Sunday as they were beaten 3-1 by Crystal Palace.

Premier League: Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino disagreed with Hull boss Steve Bruce on red card

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino disagreed with Hull boss Steve Bruce's opinion on Gaston Ramirez's red card.

Mail Box

Oh Arsenal. Why Oh Why Oh Effing Why?

We have plenty of fallout from Arsenal's latest display of outrageous incompetence, plus the question of why every team seems to be getting worse. Plus, another Garcia ghost goal...

A Funny Mail About Line Dancing & More

We have some great responses to young Jack's question about how readers first got into football. Plus, finally some intelligent thoughts on Dave Whelan's outburst...

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