Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Zola aiming high at Watford

New Watford manager Gianfranco Zola says he is looking forward to embarking on a long-term project at the Championship club.

Zola, 46, was appointed last week by new owners the Pozzo family, who dismissed Sean Dyche after completing their takeover at the end of last season.

A former Chelsea favourite as a player, Zola’s last managerial job was at West Ham United, who he led to English Premier League safety before being dismissed in May 2010.

“I have had two years to think,” he said.

“It is a new challenge and it is a very interesting challenge. It comes in a moment when I will be more prepared than the first one.

“The first one has been a very good experience for me, there have been some good and bad things, but I will certainly learn a lot from those things that will allow me to work on some things and hopefully this time it will be better.

After succeeding Malky Mackay at the beginning of the 2011/12 season, Dyche took Watford to 11th in the Championship, their highest finish of the last four campaigns.

Zola knows Dyche will be a tough act to follow in a difficult competition, but feels is up to the challenge.

“I know there will be tough games and that’s for sure, no doubt about that,” Zola said.

“I am not afraid, I left the Champions League to go and play in Serie B in Italy and I never regretted it.

“I will take the challenge this time as well. I will obviously need to learn a lot, but I am very confident in my qualities and the people I have around and we will learn. I know is going to be tough playing in those places like that.”

Zola will now get a chance to work with his players in pre-season training, ahead of their first clash of 2012/13, against Crystal Palace on August 18th.

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