Watford boss Gianfranco Zola backs Jonathan Bond to fill the void left by Manuel Almunia
Gianfranco Zola insists Jonathan Bond can fill the shoes of Manuel Almunia following the Watford number one’s injury yesterday.
Almunia was forced off with a hamstring problem during the first half of the Hornets’ 2-1 victory over Derby County.
His replacement Bond could not stop Jamie Ward’s penalty but the 19-year-old Academy graduate made a good stop almost immediately after coming on and claimed several crosses during an accomplished performance, which was his sixth outing for the Golden Boys.
Zola said: “He didn’t do anything wrong and I liked the way he was calm and comfortable with the ball. I was pleased with him.
“I have no problem with Jonathan and I know he can do a good job for us.”
Almunia missed the Manchester City FA Cup tie in January due to a hamstring injury but Zola was unsure whether it was a reoccurrence of the same problem when he spoke in the post-match press conference yesterday.
Zola said: “Unfortunately he picked up a problem in his hamstring but it is too early to say how bad it is. We need to assess and see what will happen.”
“To be honest I don’t know if it was the same leg or not,” he added.