Walter Mazzarri wants his Watford team to develop a ruthless streak

By dsguser
04 February 2017

Watford boss Walter Mazzarri believes his side need to improve their mentality despite claiming a hard-fought 2-1 victory over 10-man Burnley.

Jeff Hendrick's early dismissal proved to be the difference as Troy Deeney and January signing M'Baye Niang gave Watford a 2-0 lead at half-time.

Burnley fought back and Ashley Barnes pulled one back from the penalty spot after Hornets defender Sebastia n Prodl handled the ball in the box but the hosts held on to claim successive wins in the Premier League for the first time since September.

Barnes scuffed a chance to claim an equaliser in stoppage time and despite earning two wins in the space of five days, Mazzarri wants his side to hone their killer instinct.

"I'm very happy of course because we won. I liked the way we played in the first half but I'm not happy at all about the second," Mazzarri said.

"This is why I say we have to grow in mentality as a team because the big teams would have closed this game like we should.

"We could have scored three or four goals but we didn't do it and we risked losing three points for immature mistakes that could have changed the game.

"The only excuse I can find is that we played a very important game a few days ago against Arsenal where we spent a lot in terms of condition.

"Also we have many players coming back from injury who are still finding the perfect condition but we should have scored the third goal.

"Before this game I told my players that the transfer market is finished and you are the team that is going to be until the end of the season and you always have to go with the same spirit as we had at Arsenal."

The defeat saw Burnley's poor Premier League away form continue and Sean Dyche's side have still only claimed one point on the road - only Sky Bet Championship strugglers Rotherham have won as few away points in the top four divisions this season.

Dyche took delight in his team's performance despite their numerical disadvantage and had no issue with Hendrick's dismissal but felt that if his side had 11 men on the field then the outcome of the game would have been different.

"I don't usually over praise the side but I thought they were fantastic, particularly in the second half," Dyche said.

"The early blow of getting a man sent off but then another blow before half-time, the mentality to see through that and still respond to the challenge and still take the game on, to try and win it, I thought was absolutely outstanding.

"11 versus 11, with the way we performed today, we would have probably won the game.

"It's a tough one (the red card), I think in the heat of the moment, the referee is under pressure to give it. When I look back on it, there's minimal physical contact but let's make it clear, his (Hendrick) foot hits the top of the ball. But what can the referee do nowadays? I think he has to send him off."

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