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Sunday 17 December 2017

Walter Mazzarri hoping to reap the benefits of home comforts

Watford manager Walter Mazzarri opted against taking his players away for some warm weather training ahead of their next Premier League match with West Ham
Watford manager Walter Mazzarri opted against taking his players away for some warm weather training ahead of their next Premier League match with West Ham

Walter Mazzarri hopes his Watford players will benefit from extra time together at a cold London Colney rather than than jetting off for some warm weather training as they prepare to get back in Premier League action against West Ham.

The Hornets have not played since losing 2-0 at Manchester United on February 11.

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic believes their short trip to Dubai will help his players reap the benefits of a spot of team bonding.

Mazzarri is also confident being able to work through issues in more familiar , if less warm, surroundings can only prove positive as Watford seek what would be a third win in the last four Premier League games.

"We worked very well," the Italian said at a press conference.

"We managed to get back the condition of some players and also got some back from injury.

"I am also curious to see their athletic condition, particularly the new players."

Mazzarri will again be without Belgian defender Christian Kabasele, who is sidelined by a calf muscle injury, while Sebastian Prodl and Craig Cathcart will also both be assessed.

The Italian coach is expecting a response from the side - and one which remains focused for the whole 90 minutes.

"I like my team part-time," Mazzarri said.

"I didn't like my team in the second half [at home] against Burnley, and against Arsenal, for 10-15 minutes, we suffered too much.

"Against Manchester United we started well, but then we lost concentration and this cost us the first goal.

"We committed too many silly mistakes in midfield. Concentration and mistakes cost us the second goal in the second half.

"My team needs to behave and play with more continuity without having lapses of concentration during the game."

Watford are currently in 13th place, some 10 points clear of the battle for survival.

Mazzarri remains determined to quickly chalk up the remaining three victories which would usually prove enough to secure another campaign in the top flight.

"The objective is the same as always: to stay in the Premier League," the Watford manager said.

"We want to confirm this as soon as possible, then we want to grow the squad and build so we can do even better next season.

"We want to give the maximum in every game and then look back at the end of the season and see the summary.

"It's most important not to commit any mistakes, to remain focused.

"We have two home games now and we have to take advantage of this. These [two home games] are very important to us."

Watford ran out 4-2 winners at the London Stadium in mid-September, having at one stage been two down.

Mazzarri, though, warned the Hammers will prove no easy touch, themselves having lost just once in the past five Premier League games.

"We cannot compare today with that game. I t was a long time ago," he said.

"West Ham had some problems in that period and we were coming from a particular period, too.

"We did a very good game after losing at the beginning, but West Ham are doing very well now."

Press Association

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