Sunday 25 February 2018

Walter Mazzarri not feeling strain despite Watford form

Walter Mazzarri insists he is not feeling the pressure at Watford
Walter Mazzarri insists he is not feeling the pressure at Watford

Walter Mazzarri insists he is not feeling the strain at Watford despite seeing his team's Premier League winless streak extend to six matches following a drab goalless draw against Middlesbrough.

Mazzarri was subjected to some disgruntled boos at the final whistle following a game in which Watford created few chances against a Boro side also struggling for form and results.

The Italian opened his tenure at Watford with victories against West Ham, Manchester United and champions Leicester, but the Hornets have recorded just one victory from their last nine league outings.

Watford's Italian owners have earned a reputation of being ruthless when it comes to the turnover of managers at Vicarage Road.

Indeed Mazzarri - who replaced Quique Sanchez Flores despite the Spaniard comfortably retaining Watford's Premier League status and reaching the semi-final of the FA Cup - became the eighth manager to take the helm at the club since the Pozzo family completed their takeover of the Hornets in June 2012.

"With regards to the pressure I can tell you now with a smile on my face, that I put on myself every day since I train for over 20 years," Mazzarri said.

"We played very well and when a manager sees that his team has played very well he is happy.

"When I first arrived here I spoke about the English managers, and it is only in England that there is this trust and the situations where a manager can stay for many years at a club.

"It is very nice because it means there is a lot of trust and your future does not only depend about results, but the whole objective of the club and the manager together."

Mazzarri, the former Sampdoria, Inter Milan and Napoli coach, added: "In Italy I have been four years maximum at a team and it is already very difficult to achieve this. I like how it is here and the way of trust towards the manager."

Watford's campaign has been beset by a number of injuries and goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes became the latest victim on Saturday when he limped off with a back problem.

Mazzarri confirmed the former Tottenham goalkeeper would be assessed on Sunday.

For Boro, their manager Aitor Karanka was pleased with a point as he bids to keep his newly-promoted club in the top flight.

Karanka adopted a back three at Vicarage Road with Calum Chambers, the England international on loan from Arsenal, and Ben Gibson earning special praise from the Boro boss.

"It was a good game for Calum and Gibbo because both of them are young and to play against strikers like [Abdoulaye] Doucoure, [Troy] Deeney and [Stefano] Okaka and to fight for every single ball, and every single second ball, and to have that maturity was important for both of them. They both have a really, really good future."

Press Association

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