Watford boss Walter Mazzarri has stressed the need for his men to stop sitting back in games when winning as they did against West Ham last weekend.
The Italian was left “very angry” by what he saw from his side in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with the Hammers at Vicarage Road, in which Troy Deeney’s third-minute penalty for the hosts was cancelled out by an Andre Ayew equaliser with just over 15 minutes to go.
“We need to improve and stop sitting back,” Mazzarri, quoted by the Watford Observer, said ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Southampton.
“We have done it too many times, and it is a mentality we need to change.
“I got very angry after West Ham, and we are working on it. We told the players this cannot happen any more.”
Mazzarri also on Thursday spoke again about the injury suffered in the West Ham contest by Mauro Zarate, who ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and damaged the medial collateral ligament in his right knee.
The Argentinian winger, a January signing from Fiorentina, came off towards the end of the first half of the match against his former club having twisted his knee awkwardly and collapsed to the ground.
He had already looked to be struggling before that, having required treatment following a challenge from Sofiane Feghouli, and Mazzarri on Saturday emphasised that Zarate had told him after that earlier knock that he had wanted to stay on the pitch.
Mazzarri added on Thursday: “I wanted to take him out.
“I asked him how he felt many times, but because of pride or a desire to keep playing he stayed on.
“I listened to both the medical team and the player. The doctors listened to him too. Without performing a scan, it’s difficult to determine what exactly is wrong.”
Watford on Wednesday said Zarate, who flew that day to Spain with the club’s medical director Luca Gatteschi to see renowned surgeon Dr Ramon Cugat, will be back for the start of next term.
Defender Daryl Janmaat and goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon will have their fitness checked ahead of potential involvement in the Southampton game.
Janmaat (groin) was another forced off last weekend, while Pantilimon (ankle) has been sidelined since the end of January.
Nordin Amrabat (ankle), Christian Kabasele (hip) and Ben Watson (groin) remain unavailable.