Monday 24 July 2017

Taylor emotion affected us, says Mazzarri

Watford 0 Middlesbrough 0

Watford manager Walter Mazzarri. Photo: PA
Watford manager Walter Mazzarri. Photo: PA

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Watford boss Walter Mazzarri believes the emotion felt at the club following Graham Taylor's death affected his players in their goalless draw against Middlesbrough.

Taylor, viewed by Watford as the greatest manager in the club's history, died suddenly on Thursday following a suspected heart attack at the age of 72.

Watford's Younes Kaboul in action against Middlesbrough's Calum Chambers. Photo: Reuters
Watford's Younes Kaboul in action against Middlesbrough's Calum Chambers. Photo: Reuters

The club paid a glowing tribute to Taylor ahead of this fixture which culminated in a rousing one-minute applause prior to kick-off. A number of home supporters - many of whom had laid flowers, shirts and scarves at Vicarage Road - and Taylor's widow Rita, were reduced to tears as the former England manager's name echoed around the stadium.

"It was very emotional for all of us," said Mazzarri. "This was due to the passing away of this great person that made the history of Watford Football Club. The first half we were less brilliant and it could have been due to this emotion. In the second half we played much better and we deserved the win.

"I am sorry not to finally dedicate this win for the fans, and for he who is not here today. Of course we would have liked this, but unfortunately it couldn't happen."

Watford enjoyed the best chances of a rather tepid affair, but were unable to find a way past Middlesbrough goalkeeper Victor Valdes. A chorus of boos rang out around Vicarage Road at the final whistle with Watford now without a victory from their last six Premier League matches.

Watford's Troy Deeney clashes with Middlesbrough's Fabio. Photo: Reuters
Watford's Troy Deeney clashes with Middlesbrough's Fabio. Photo: Reuters

"It is a good point," admitted Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka. "We were better in the first half and they were better in the second half.

"We knew that it was going to be a difficult game. We tried to play our style in the first half, but in the second we knew that they are a strong and mature team and the only thing we could do was to defend."

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