Gianfranco Zola says three points at Barnsley would be 'massive' due to Watford's run-in
12:00pm Friday 15th March 2013 in Latest Sport
Gianfranco Zola believes tomorrow's match against Barnsley will be "massive" considering his side's run in as they chase automatic promotion.
Watford face promotion or play-off rivals in five of their last eight games following the match with Barnsley.
Zola said: "A win is a win and they are all as important as each other. But certainly at this stage of the season, considering the games we have to come, it would be massive if we can get the three points on Saturday. We really want to win this one."
Watford were leading 1-0 with 15 minutes remaining at the weekend but Blackpool scored twice to secure a dramatic 2-1 win.
The defeat, combined with Hull City's victory on Monday night, meant the Tigers replaced the Hornets in the automatic places.
"I am expecting a good reaction," Zola said. "I am not expecting a reaction in terms of the way we played because I believe we played well against Blackpool and we certainly didn’t deserve to lose. But in terms of the result, then yes I am expecting a reaction."
He continued: "If the players were not strong mentally then they would not have got to the position that they are in now. But what I am expecting from the players is that they focused; that is what I want.
"I want them focused on the good things and not on anything else. It is key that we keep the attention on what they have done well and that is playing good football and scoring goals.
"So that is what I will be telling the players. The rest doesn't exist."
There are currently 18 places between the two teams, with Barnsley climbing out of the bottom three on Saturday, but coincidentally both sides have exactly the same record over the past ten games; having won six, drawn two and lost two.
History suggests the Hornets could have a tough job on their hands as they haven’t won at Oakwell in more than 12 years.
The contest will also see two of the nominees for Championship Manager of the Month award for February go head-to-head.
Flitcroft enjoyed three wins out of four but Zola was the only unbeaten candidate, as the 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace prevented the Italian from winning all five of his matches in the month. Bolton's Dougie Freedman was the other nominee.