8:38pm Saturday 13th April 2013
Gianfranco Zola stressed Watford’s commitment was not an issue this afternoon but believes Peterborough United punished his team's “silly mistakes”.
The two clubs are at opposite ends of the table but it was the Championship strugglers Peterborough who took the lead in the first half and went on to extend their advantage to 3-0 in the second period.
Watford had been reduced to ten men shortly before the Posh’s third goal but the visitors clawed back two goals late on to end the contest on the wrong on of a 3-2 scoreline.
Zola said: “It was a pretty bad afternoon. I thought we played ok but we made some individual mistakes.
“We gave them opportunities to break and on one of them we were punished. We should have been punished before but it was silly mistakes; like when we were coming out [from the back] with the ball and we were losing it and we were giving them opportunities.
“The second goal did my brain in a lot because we were controlling the game, we were building up momentum and the second goal was a stupid one because it killed us off. That was the one which really made me crazy.”
When asked if there were any reasons why Watford’s performance was below par, he replied: “I believe the players gave everything, they tried to play but we found a team who were very well organised and they punished us on our silly mistakes.
“I don’t believe that there are other reasons behind it. You can see we fought until the end, if the game was longer then we could have had a draw.
“The players’ commitment was ok; we just paid the cost for a couple of mistakes and also there were a few decisions where the referee could have given something different.”
Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson claimed Watford were entitled to at least one penalty if not more.
And Zola said: “I thought the first one was a clear penalty; Troy was in front of the goalkeeper and was about to shoot when he was fouled.
“Also in the second half we should have had another penalty where Troy was stood on.
“I just spoke to the referee and he said he didn’t see that.
“It is not the first time this has happened to us and we have been penalised in opportunities like this.
“I said it to them that we have been labelled as a team that go down and we don’t get given anything because sometimes it happened.
“I said the same thing to the referees and hopefully that isn’t the case because I have seen things on the pitch where I believe we haven’t been treated well.
“I am not asking for anything, I just want it to be fair. Today, at least one penalty should have been given.”
The Hornets head coach decided to take off Joel Ekstrand at half-time after the centre back was fortunate to escape a second yellow card shortly before the break.
Watford went to a 4-3-3 formation following Matej Vydra’s arrival and had improved prior to Peterborough’s second goal.
The Golden Boys were then taking more risks with the score at 2-0 and Peterborough’s third came after a counter-attack which resulted in not only Marco Cassetti being sent off, but also Lee Tomkins scoring a free-kick.
Zola explained: “I had to take Joel Ekstrand off because he was booked and he was also warned, so in those situations you have to take them off and you cannot risk it.
“It was a pity with Marco because he didn’t want to foul him but the guy cut across him and the foul was given. I don’t think there was a bad intention or anything.”
There will be further reaction from Zola in the coming days.
Click here to read today’s match report.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group