Watford boss Gianfranco Zola says injury problems in defence led to move for Fulham's Matthew Briggs

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Gianfranco Zola confirmed Watford are close to signing Fulham defender Matthew Briggs due to the Hornets' ongoing injury problems at the back.

The Italian did, however, add that the club were interested in signing Briggs before their latest run of injuries in defence.

Watford have been without centre backs Fitz Hall, Tommie Hoban and Neuton in recent weeks and the club, who usually play with three in defence, were keen to sign another defender.

This afternoon Zola told the Watford Observer: "We are interested in him and we are just finishing the loan. The reason why we want to sign him is because we have problems at the back.

"Tommie Hoban is out and we don’t know how much longer that will be for and also we have Fitz Hall who is still out injured. We also have Sergio Neuton out.

"So in that position we need a bit more support, that is why we have considered him.

"He is a defender who can play in the middle, we also don't have a left-footed central defender and that is why we have moved to sign him."

We understand Briggs will be due at the Hornets' London Colney training ground later today ahead of the move but he will not be available for tomorrow's televised game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Speaking at around 3pm this afternoon, Zola said: "We are working on trying to sign him until the end of the season but if things don’t go well then I think Fulham have the possibility of a recall. But I’m not a 100 per cent sure of the details to be honest."

This Is Local London:

Watford were attempting to sign another left-sided player in January as competition for Daniel Pudil, and made unsuccessful moves for Hull City's Robbie Brady and Manchester City's Jeremy Helan.

With Pudil out in recent weeks due to illness, right-sided winger Ikechi Anya has been filling in on the opposite flank. Briggs has played in a similar role in the past so there was an assumption by some that he was signed to play in the left of midfield.

But Zola said: "He can play in that position but he is not coming in for that position - he is coming more for the middle position.

"At the moment we only have Nyron Nosworthy, Lloyd Doyley and Joel Ekstrand - plus Marco Cassetti can play there if necessary but he would be slightly out of position."

The Fulham website describes Briggs as primarily a left back but adds he has "desirable attributes at both ends of the pitch. He can defend but he’s also extremely comfortable on the ball; he has pace, can pass, is athletic and can get up and down the pitch."

Briggs became the youngest player to feature in a Premier League game when he came on as a substitute against Middlesbrough in 2007.

Fulham boss Martin Jol seems to rate the player, who can also fill in at centre half, as the 21-year-old has made six starts and two substitute appearances for the Cottagers this season, either side of his four-game loan with Bristol City in November.

This Is Local London:

Briggs has made 27 appearances for Fulham since his debut as a 16 year old and also had brief spells on loan at Leyton Orient in 2010 and Peterborough United last year.

He has represented England at Under-16, Under-17, Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 level.

Briggs was part of the England Under-19 squad who reached the final of the European Championship in 2009 and he also travelled to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Egypt that year.

Zola said: "I saw him playing and I like him; he has the type of qualities that means he can do well in our team and in our system. Obviously it’s not only me who has seen him, we have a lot of scouts who have seen him play many times and he is a player that we had in mind even before [the injuries].

"He has got experience in the Premier League and the Championship so we are talking about a player who knows what the job is."

Comments (15)

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4:05pm Thu 28 Feb 13

MINTYHORNET says...

Good to see Zola pick a signing,Briggs seems like a decent player and versatile so that's good.
Good to see Zola pick a signing,Briggs seems like a decent player and versatile so that's good. MINTYHORNET

4:08pm Thu 28 Feb 13

rookeryroy says...

I have a spare ticket for Wolves (£28) tomorrow and a spare seat in my car. Someone has dropped out because of illness. There are 3 in the car at the moment. Leaving North Watford at 3 pm to allow for traffic and time for a few pints. If interested, phone 07768205222.
I have a spare ticket for Wolves (£28) tomorrow and a spare seat in my car. Someone has dropped out because of illness. There are 3 in the car at the moment. Leaving North Watford at 3 pm to allow for traffic and time for a few pints. If interested, phone 07768205222. rookeryroy

4:16pm Thu 28 Feb 13

andyhooked says...

Sound move as we are short on cover but what news on M.A.? Could Thomson fill the role as a defender? I like what I have seen of Adam.

Bond looked Okay but he will be tested by the opposition knowning that he is a bit of a rookie but now is his chance and hoping this may launch his career. Now if his parents had called him "James" then no problem. Just have to wait and see, on another issue, if the F.L judgment anticipate tomorrow hits us hard.
Sound move as we are short on cover but what news on M.A.? Could Thomson fill the role as a defender? I like what I have seen of Adam. Bond looked Okay but he will be tested by the opposition knowning that he is a bit of a rookie but now is his chance and hoping this may launch his career. Now if his parents had called him "James" then no problem. Just have to wait and see, on another issue, if the F.L judgment anticipate tomorrow hits us hard. andyhooked

4:19pm Thu 28 Feb 13

PedroHornet says...

Hopefully Zola will continue to use the players who had recently been doing a good job in defence as, I feel, they deserve to continue playing and Briggs will only be used if a defender is injured or their performance dips.
Hopefully Zola will continue to use the players who had recently been doing a good job in defence as, I feel, they deserve to continue playing and Briggs will only be used if a defender is injured or their performance dips. PedroHornet

5:05pm Thu 28 Feb 13

WessexLad says...

GZ: "Marco Cassetti can play there if necessary but he would be slightly out of position."

Not half as out of position as wing back! As Briggs isn't available tomorrow, I'd rather see Cassetti in the back three, with Forsyth LWB and Anya returned to his natural RWB.
GZ: "Marco Cassetti can play there if necessary but he would be slightly out of position." Not half as out of position as wing back! As Briggs isn't available tomorrow, I'd rather see Cassetti in the back three, with Forsyth LWB and Anya returned to his natural RWB. WessexLad

5:11pm Thu 28 Feb 13

DuffmanWFC says...

I trust Zola and I'm happy with the extra cover but for me as long as they continue to play well then Ekstrand, Doyley and Nosworthy should keep there places!
I see Briggs as a prefered option/cover/competi
tion for Pudil in left midfield but also as extra cover for the above defenders if any get injured/suspended/il
l before the likes of Hall, Hoban and Neauton return? It's good forward thinking from Zola!
With it looking like Pudil to miss the game tomorrow I expect Anya to fill in on the left again and Forsyth on the bench?
Zola to start with strongest side of:

Bond
Ekstrand
Nosworthy
Doyley
Cassetti
Anya
Chaloboah
Abdi
Battocchio
Vydra
Deeney

Subs: Forsyth, Murray, Hogg, Fessi, Geijo, Yeates, Bonham?

Come on you horns for tomorrow night
I trust Zola and I'm happy with the extra cover but for me as long as they continue to play well then Ekstrand, Doyley and Nosworthy should keep there places! I see Briggs as a prefered option/cover/competi tion for Pudil in left midfield but also as extra cover for the above defenders if any get injured/suspended/il l before the likes of Hall, Hoban and Neauton return? It's good forward thinking from Zola! With it looking like Pudil to miss the game tomorrow I expect Anya to fill in on the left again and Forsyth on the bench? Zola to start with strongest side of: Bond Ekstrand Nosworthy Doyley Cassetti Anya Chaloboah Abdi Battocchio Vydra Deeney Subs: Forsyth, Murray, Hogg, Fessi, Geijo, Yeates, Bonham? Come on you horns for tomorrow night DuffmanWFC

5:38pm Thu 28 Feb 13

lincoln horn says...

Good player,some people may feel a little underwhelmed by this loan signing (ouch the L word,more fuel to the fire!) but have seen him a few times and he has great touch and defends with a steady head. Has top level experience too,got to be good cover at the very least.
Good player,some people may feel a little underwhelmed by this loan signing (ouch the L word,more fuel to the fire!) but have seen him a few times and he has great touch and defends with a steady head. Has top level experience too,got to be good cover at the very least. lincoln horn

6:02pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Yellowlutherblissett says...

Does anyone know a pub near Wendover that will be showing the Wolves match?
If not, where's the best place to go in Watford please?
Does anyone know a pub near Wendover that will be showing the Wolves match? If not, where's the best place to go in Watford please? Yellowlutherblissett

6:17pm Thu 28 Feb 13

LesCSP says...

The Daily Mail are frantically checking if He as ever taken a foreign holiday.
The Daily Mail are frantically checking if He as ever taken a foreign holiday. LesCSP

6:19pm Thu 28 Feb 13

CARDIFFHORN says...

Yellowlutherblissett wrote:
Does anyone know a pub near Wendover that will be showing the Wolves match?
If not, where's the best place to go in Watford please?
I'll be in Wendover as well on a reunion weekend so would be interested in the answer as well!!
[quote][p][bold]Yellowlutherblissett[/bold] wrote: Does anyone know a pub near Wendover that will be showing the Wolves match? If not, where's the best place to go in Watford please?[/p][/quote]I'll be in Wendover as well on a reunion weekend so would be interested in the answer as well!! CARDIFFHORN

6:41pm Thu 28 Feb 13

JohnnyHornet says...

Just a thought, If Wolves try and test Bondy should he play that may just play in to our hands with the counter attack.
Just a thought, If Wolves try and test Bondy should he play that may just play in to our hands with the counter attack. JohnnyHornet

7:02pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Boosey says...

Sorry ladies & gentlemen, this post is not on the subject matter but an open letter to Plymouth Horn.
You replied to Lutondown in a earlier thread and mentioned that because of your circumstances it wasn't possible to visit the Vic at this time and moment.
Well we are not saints or anything like that but it struck a chord with us and you seem genuine enough.
We would like to think we could help you to enjoy a day with us.
Please feel free to contact lutondown at Lutondown@me.com
Sorry ladies & gentlemen, this post is not on the subject matter but an open letter to Plymouth Horn. You replied to Lutondown in a earlier thread and mentioned that because of your circumstances it wasn't possible to visit the Vic at this time and moment. Well we are not saints or anything like that but it struck a chord with us and you seem genuine enough. We would like to think we could help you to enjoy a day with us. Please feel free to contact lutondown at Lutondown@me.com Boosey

11:56am Fri 1 Mar 13

sueinspain says...

Boosey wrote:
Sorry ladies & gentlemen, this post is not on the subject matter but an open letter to Plymouth Horn.
You replied to Lutondown in a earlier thread and mentioned that because of your circumstances it wasn't possible to visit the Vic at this time and moment.
Well we are not saints or anything like that but it struck a chord with us and you seem genuine enough.
We would like to think we could help you to enjoy a day with us.
Please feel free to contact lutondown at Lutondown@me.com
Nice one Boosey, look after our horns family and let them know we appreciate their support from afar!!
[quote][p][bold]Boosey[/bold] wrote: Sorry ladies & gentlemen, this post is not on the subject matter but an open letter to Plymouth Horn. You replied to Lutondown in a earlier thread and mentioned that because of your circumstances it wasn't possible to visit the Vic at this time and moment. Well we are not saints or anything like that but it struck a chord with us and you seem genuine enough. We would like to think we could help you to enjoy a day with us. Please feel free to contact lutondown at Lutondown@me.com[/p][/quote]Nice one Boosey, look after our horns family and let them know we appreciate their support from afar!! sueinspain

12:03pm Fri 1 Mar 13

Boosey says...

sueinspain wrote:
Boosey wrote: Sorry ladies & gentlemen, this post is not on the subject matter but an open letter to Plymouth Horn. You replied to Lutondown in a earlier thread and mentioned that because of your circumstances it wasn't possible to visit the Vic at this time and moment. Well we are not saints or anything like that but it struck a chord with us and you seem genuine enough. We would like to think we could help you to enjoy a day with us. Please feel free to contact lutondown at Lutondown@me.com
Nice one Boosey, look after our horns family and let them know we appreciate their support from afar!!
Thank you, maybe when the old mans not around, I could get a cheap holiday LOL
[quote][p][bold]sueinspain[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Boosey[/bold] wrote: Sorry ladies & gentlemen, this post is not on the subject matter but an open letter to Plymouth Horn. You replied to Lutondown in a earlier thread and mentioned that because of your circumstances it wasn't possible to visit the Vic at this time and moment. Well we are not saints or anything like that but it struck a chord with us and you seem genuine enough. We would like to think we could help you to enjoy a day with us. Please feel free to contact lutondown at Lutondown@me.com[/p][/quote]Nice one Boosey, look after our horns family and let them know we appreciate their support from afar!![/p][/quote]Thank you, maybe when the old mans not around, I could get a cheap holiday LOL Boosey

4:48pm Fri 1 Mar 13

sueinspain says...

Boosey wrote:
sueinspain wrote:
Boosey wrote: Sorry ladies & gentlemen, this post is not on the subject matter but an open letter to Plymouth Horn. You replied to Lutondown in a earlier thread and mentioned that because of your circumstances it wasn't possible to visit the Vic at this time and moment. Well we are not saints or anything like that but it struck a chord with us and you seem genuine enough. We would like to think we could help you to enjoy a day with us. Please feel free to contact lutondown at Lutondown@me.com
Nice one Boosey, look after our horns family and let them know we appreciate their support from afar!!
Thank you, maybe when the old mans not around, I could get a cheap holiday LOL
why not!!, outside of the foottie season though.
[quote][p][bold]Boosey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sueinspain[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Boosey[/bold] wrote: Sorry ladies & gentlemen, this post is not on the subject matter but an open letter to Plymouth Horn. You replied to Lutondown in a earlier thread and mentioned that because of your circumstances it wasn't possible to visit the Vic at this time and moment. Well we are not saints or anything like that but it struck a chord with us and you seem genuine enough. We would like to think we could help you to enjoy a day with us. Please feel free to contact lutondown at Lutondown@me.com[/p][/quote]Nice one Boosey, look after our horns family and let them know we appreciate their support from afar!![/p][/quote]Thank you, maybe when the old mans not around, I could get a cheap holiday LOL[/p][/quote]why not!!, outside of the foottie season though. sueinspain

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