Watford head coach Walter Mazzarri was “angry” despite his side’s 2-1 win over Burnley, whose performance for 84 minutes with 10 men filled Sean Dyche with pride.
The Clarets had Jeff Hendrick sent off early on for a studs-up challenge on Jose Holebas, and found themselves 2-0 down at the break thanks to headers from Troy Deeney and M’Baye Niang.
But Burnley – who have taken one point from 11 away Premier League outings – battled hard in the second half and pulled one back thanks to a penalty from Ashley Barnes, who spurned a golden chance for an equaliser deep into stoppage time.
Watford moved into the top half with this victory, but Mazzarri remained less than impressed.
“I am happy but at the same time very angry. We should have closed the game. We allowed them the opportunity to draw. With the penalty as well, I am not happy we allowed this,” he said on Watford’s website.
“This is where we still need to grow. Big teams close games three or four zero. We are concentrating on the first objective of staying in the league and working on the mentality of the players.
“This year I don’t look too much on points, more on performances. This season we must make sure we stay in the league and grow as a team.
“We did it well in the first half to play with the ball at our feet. But second half, yes it was not as good as that. I am very angry about not closing the game out in a better way.”
Former Watford boss Dyche, meanwhile, was effusive in his praise of his players despite another ultimately disappointing away day.
“The early sending off affects the game radically, but today I thought we were absolutely fantastic,” he said.
“To take a knock so early, as we did by losing Jeff, then play for that amount of time away from home, with 10 men, particularly in the second half, and show that will and desire to go and win a game was absolutely outstanding. I totally appreciate the crowd’s part in that today because they were right behind the team, and it’s fantastic to hear them and see their team give absolutely every ounce of effort.
“That was massively on show today. We took the game on and had a clear view of trying to win it, even at 2-0 down and had a couple of golden chances at the end when we could have taken something.
“In the end it could have been one of those great stories, but unfortunately not. However, if we keep going about our business as we are, then we’ll be fine, I’m sure.”
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