Football

Angry boss

Watford manager furious his team 
became complacent after taking the lead

SECOND ROUND

WATFORD 1

(Odion Ighalo 58)

GILLINGHAM 2

(Mark Byrne 82, Bradley Dack 102)

  • 1-1 after extra time

Watford manager Walter Mazzari slammed the complacent attitude of his players, after they threw away a one-goal lead to lose to Gillingham in the League Cup second round yesterday morning (Singapore time).

After Odion Ighalo broke the deadlock, the Hornets rode their luck when Bradley Dack missed a penalty at the other end.

But they did not heed their warning, as Mark Byrne sent the tie to extra time and Dack made amends with a winner for the League One club.

Mazzarri said: "I am massively disappointed. Especially for the fans who don't deserve to see us losing like that.

"They were very warm and they didn't deserve that performance.

"Until we scored, we were in control. We created about seven or eight chances and, as soon as we got ahead, we completely changed the way we played.

"I need to change this mentality of the players when we go ahead. I'm very angry because we can't see the danger of teams when we go ahead.

"The moment we go ahead, we should continue to play well, but we couldn't see the danger and got complacent.

"Instead of becoming stronger and working harder, we changed our attitude completely. I don't think I made too many changes, we were creating chances regardless.

"It was the same team in the second half, so I don't think it's a fair assessment to say I made too many changes. The fans are right to be upset, they deserved better.

"The players are fit enough. Even though all players get tired in extra time, perhaps they were mentally tired a bit."

Gillingham boss Justin Edinburgh, though, hailed the result as the best of his 10-year managerial career.

He said: "In the end, we deserved it. We had to ride our luck a little bit in the first half.

"When we missed the penalty, I thought we missed our chance but we showed great courage and spirit to keep going.

CHARACTER

"For Dack to come back from the penalty miss shows the character of the man.

"Hopefully, we can keep hold of him. We're not in a position to sell but, if he does want to leave, we'll get the right fee that his talents demand.

"It's a proud moment for the club to come to a Premier League team with international stars and win. The level of fitness from my players was quite extraordinary.

"It's a credit to the players that they continued to press late on when Watford looked a bit jaded. It's without a doubt the biggest win of my managerial career and it's great for the club.

"We know that we had to fight harder and run harder than we usually do. We showed great tenacity in this respect and I'm so pleased for the players." - PA Sport.

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