Watford head coach Beppe Sannino revealed he followed the FA Cup in Italy because of the competition’s giant-killing tradition and insists the famous knock-out tournament is important for the Hornets this season.
The Golden Boys travel to Bristol City tomorrow (Saturday) in the third round of the prestigious competition as Sannino looks to extend his unbeaten start as Watford boss to four matches.
The Italian says he used to enjoy the FA Cup in Italy, not least because of its history for shock results that thrust the lesser-known teams into the spotlight.
“From Italy I used to follow the FA Cup because of the giant killers,” Sannino said.
“I always used to watch the FA Cup because the small clubs can become famous and play great football.
“In Italy it is not like that.
“They changed the rules last season in Italy so there is not a draw after every round like there is here.
“Here you have the draw every time so you can face Manchester United or whoever.
“So hopefully I can enjoy the draw again after the Bristol match.” The Hornets have reached the FA Cup semi-finals five times in the tournament’s history and the final once in 1984 when they lost to Everton.
With 46 matches in the Championship to negotiate, as well as any potential play-off games at the end of the season, some clubs choose to rotate their players in cup competitions.
Sannino insists however that his only priority is to win every game and believes it’s important to make all the players feel like they have an important part to play.
“I do like to make all the players I have available feel like they are key players without forgetting the most important thing which is the starting team that is going to play on the pitch in the next game,” he said.
“Our priority is to try to do the best in all the competitions we have to play in.
“My philosophy and our philosophy is to take everything step by step. The next game is in the Cup so we focus on the Cup.
“The game after that is the Championship so we focus on the Championship. And so on.”
Sannino has pedigree in cup competitions after taking Siena to their first semi-final of the Coppa Italia in 2012 but the Hornets boss insists his record is not important.
“The only tradition that I have is that tomorrow morning I will take the training session,” Sannino said on Thursday.
“What happened in the past doesn’t matter anymore.
“I did reach the semi-final and I won five championships in Italy but that is in the past.
“What is important now is tomorrow against Bristol.”