Mazzarri ‘paying no attention’ to table despite Watford progress

Date published: Tuesday 13th December 2016 1:42

Walter Mazzarri: Happy with Watford's progress

Watford manager Walter Mazzarri insists he won’t get carried away as his side quietly close up on the top six of the Premier League.

The Hornets travel to Manchester City on the back of a 3-2 win over Everton, which lifted them onto 21 points and seventh place.

While Manchester United may now be within striking distance ahead of the next round of midweek fixtures, Mazzarri prefers to focus on sustaining his side’s development over the second half of the season as they look to make sure of their continued stay in the top flight.

“We need to keep improving of course, game after game and our main objective is to stay in the Premier League and after that take everything positive to improve year after year,” the Italian told a press conference.

“This is why we don’t need to look at the table and even better if nobody looks at it or notices it. ”

Stefano Okaka: At the double for Watford v Everton

Stefano Okaka scored twice in the win over Everton, which were his first goals since a summer move from Anderlecht.

Mazzarri is confident – now the Italian striker appears over his hamstring injury problems – there is plenty more to come.

“I have known him a long time since he used to play in Italy. He is a player who is made for the Premier League, is very strong physically and also very good technically, and very generous with his team-mates,” the former Napoli and Inter Milan boss said.

“Now we have to take him to the next level and I am sure he can have a big impact.”

Watford will assess defenders Younes Kaboul and Valon Behrami ahead of the trip to Manchester, while midfielder Roberto Pereyra is available again having serve a reduced one-match suspension on Saturday.

Mazzarri said of the Argentina international, a summer recruit from Juventus: “He is doing very well, I knew already what his qualities were, that is the reason we decided to buy him and to have him in our team.

“I was a bit more surprised that he sacrifices a lot for the team, this is something I didn’t know, but from the rest we already knew his qualities.”

The Hornets boss added: “I am very happy, besides the technical side that he can give to the team, it is mainly in the Premier League where we play three games in a week it is very important to have as many players as possible.

“In this moment he is the only certain player I have got that will start because he is fresh, he didn’t play against Everton and this is important.”

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