Watford boss responds to Deeney’s reaction at being benched

Date published: Friday 14th April 2017 5:40

Watford boss Walter Mazzarri has no issue with his players being unhappy sitting on the bench.

The Hornets host relegation battlers Swansea looking to recover from last weekend’s 4-0 drubbing at Tottenham.

Stefano Okaka led the attack against Spurs, with captain Troy Deeney starting among the substitutes before being sent on for the final 20 minutes when the game was already long over as a contest.

Deeney is said to have been left less than impressed by the decision but Mazzarri said at a press conference, reported on the club’s official website: “I know all the players that don’t play are not happy. This is normal.

“The fact they are not happy means they are keen to play and that they are very professional. I am sure it was the same for Okaka against West Brom when he did not play.

“We play these games with 14 players and it’s just as important who goes on the bench as it is who plays.

“I am here to make the club grow and get the best performances and results possible.”

Mazzarri feels “competition brings maximum performance” and defended his decision not to start with Deeney at White Hart Lane.

“Troy is okay and is available (against Swansea),” said the Italian. “Before the Sunderland game he had a problem and couldn’t train for eight days.

“For Sunderland I chose Okaka as he managed to do all training and he was in a very good condition. We won and we played very well as a team, including Okaka.

“Three days later we played against West Brom and Troy played, even though we played well against Sunderland.

“After Sunderland, Troy trained very well with the team and he played very well. We won again playing very well. We won both games with both of the choices.

“The third one, against Tottenham, we needed more help in the defensive phase and Okaka was more fresh. It doesn’t mean Troy wasn’t in a good physical condition.

“I took many things into my decision: the work, the recovery – all the things a manager takes into consideration.”

Watford head into Saturday’s match well clear of the relegation scrap in 10th place.

Mazzarri, though, has no intention of letting anyone at Vicarage Road rest on their laurels.

“No, not until the numbers say we are safe,” he said. “I hope to achieve this objective as soon as possible.

“I tell my players to fight every game like it is a cup final.

“In the Premier League all matches are tough. Swansea won against Liverpool, they beat Leicester and won away at Crystal Palace, so this shows how hard it will be, but we will try to give our best as always.”

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