Watford head coach Beppe Sannino believes putting Lucas Neill straight into his side would disrespect his other defenders

Picture: Holly Cant

Picture: Holly Cant

First published in Latest Sport
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Hornets head coach Beppe Sannino believes putting new signing Lucas Neill straight into the Watford side would show a lack respect to the other defenders at the club.

Neill has joined Watford until the end of the season and the Australian captain could feature against Blackpool tomorrow.

With Joel Ekstrand suspended for the game, there is a spot available in the Hornets’ defence but Sannino stressed there are a number of players that could come into the side.

“I have a lot of choice. Tommie Hoban, Essaïd Belkalem, Lloyd Doyley and Neill could all replace Joel,” the head coach said.

“We had the opportunity to sign Lucas Neill but I am not obliged to use him in the next game. I’m looking at the next two months but he will help with his professionalism and experience.

“If Lucas Neill goes straight on to the pitch this would be a lack of respect to the players who did very well for five matches.

“We did badly at Bolton but that doesn’t mean the first player that arrives goes straight in the team.

“Over the next two months Lucas will help Watford, I am sure.”

The Hornets take on Blackpool looking to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat and a poor performance at Bolton Wanderers in their last outing.

Sannino apologised to the travelling fans after the loss and admits that is because “I know the sacrifice the supporters make for us”.

He hopes an improved display and victory against Blackpool will repay the fans but says his side must learn from their mistakes.

He explained: “The supporters told us that they didn’t see the same team at Bolton as they had seen in the past – the team with the right anger and hunger.

“That’s why I apologised. It can happen once but we must not make the same mistakes again. We must get back on the right road as quickly as possible.”

Blackpool are without a win in their last 16 matches in all competitions and their last league victory came on November 30 against Sheffield Wednesday.

The club need to improve their form if they are to remain outside of the relegation zone, however, Sannino is adamant form is irrelevant on a match day.

“Next time don’t bring the statistics please,” the Italian joked when told about Blackpool’s recent form. “As far as my team is concerned, Blackpool have won their last ten matches.”

He added: “Watford must not watch the opposition. Watford must only be focused on Watford. We must have the right anger and hunger in all of our games.”

Almen Abdi will again be missing as the club continue to assess his foot injury while Fitz Hall (Achilles) and Lewis McGugan (thigh) will also be unavailable.

Fernando Forestieri, who has missed Watford’s last two matches, is a doubt for the game as he continues to recover from a hamstring problem.

Following tomorrow’s match, the Hornets have a ten-day break as their Championship fixture against Charlton Athletic the following Saturday was rearranged due to the Addicks’ continuing involvement in the FA Cup.

The Hornets do not return to Championship action until Tuesday, March 11, when they visit Doncaster Rovers.

It will give Sannino a prolonged chance to work with the majority of his squad, although several players will join up with their international sides.

Dániel Tozsér, Chu-Young Park, Ikechi Anya and Joel Ekstrand have been called up to the Hungary, South Korea, Scotland and Sweden sides respectively.

Sean Murray, Tommie Hoban and Connor Smith, who is on loan at Gillingham, have been selected for Ireland Under-21s and Jonathan Bond has been chosen for England Under-21s.

Sannino has stated in the past he hasn’t had as much time as he’d like to work with his players due to the busy fixture schedule.

However, he says it’s important that his players are given the chance to rest before tackling the end of the campaign.

He said: “At the moment, my thinking is that the players have to recover from their previous efforts. We will have ten days to work between the Blackpool and Doncaster game.

“The players will have two days off after the Blackpool game and then we’re back in on Tuesday until Friday and in that time we will train.

“Then it’s the weekend and then we prepare for Doncaster.”

Comments (16)

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9:10am Fri 28 Feb 14

tiger bay says...

No room for sentiment in this game Mr Sannino. If Neil is considered to be the best option then he should play. If not, then questions must be asked again about the validity of signing him. Best team EVERY time, professional integrity demands that as do the fans. .COYHS!!
No room for sentiment in this game Mr Sannino. If Neil is considered to be the best option then he should play. If not, then questions must be asked again about the validity of signing him. Best team EVERY time, professional integrity demands that as do the fans. .COYHS!! tiger bay
  • Score: 19

9:53am Fri 28 Feb 14

endean2 says...

the best 11 on the pitch, forget respect
just win, and win well
the best 11 on the pitch, forget respect just win, and win well endean2
  • Score: 16

10:21am Fri 28 Feb 14

WanderingDynamo says...

I understand the want to win attitude of supporters but the opening two posts urge sentiment & respect to be thrown by the wayside.

I've no problem with demanding the selection of the best XI and sport, professional sport without a doubt, should be played to win.
But sentiment is a part of sport too. We all have favourites, beit players, systems or kits from the past!

And respect. How many times have we moaned about opposition teams, managers, players or even supporters from those teams not showing WFC respect? Yet we don't want our manager showing our own players respect.

Bizarre.

What a sad indictment of the modern game and modern life as we know it.
I understand the want to win attitude of supporters but the opening two posts urge sentiment & respect to be thrown by the wayside. I've no problem with demanding the selection of the best XI and sport, professional sport without a doubt, should be played to win. But sentiment is a part of sport too. We all have favourites, beit players, systems or kits from the past! And respect. How many times have we moaned about opposition teams, managers, players or even supporters from those teams not showing WFC respect? Yet we don't want our manager showing our own players respect. Bizarre. What a sad indictment of the modern game and modern life as we know it. WanderingDynamo
  • Score: 9

10:56am Fri 28 Feb 14

watford1881 says...

Don't think Neill is any better than any other defensive player we already have anyway.. Maybe 5 years ago.. Not now.. Blackburn didn't want him..
Don't think Neill is any better than any other defensive player we already have anyway.. Maybe 5 years ago.. Not now.. Blackburn didn't want him.. watford1881
  • Score: 4

11:14am Fri 28 Feb 14

Wembley84 says...

“We had the opportunity to sign Lucas Neill but I am not obliged to use him in the next game". Do we think that says he doesn't agree with Nani's choices either?
“We had the opportunity to sign Lucas Neill but I am not obliged to use him in the next game". Do we think that says he doesn't agree with Nani's choices either? Wembley84
  • Score: 1

11:22am Fri 28 Feb 14

bristol hornet says...

Results are the important thing, not loyalty to players who have not produced the goods!

With this attitude, we will win nothing. I quite liked Beppe when he took over, but having seen how defensive he is, how bad his substitutions are, and the turgid football being served up, I think my patience has run out!

I do not want him retained for next season if we really do have any ambitions of promo to the Prem. And sadly all of those empty seats in our brand new east stand!
Results are the important thing, not loyalty to players who have not produced the goods! With this attitude, we will win nothing. I quite liked Beppe when he took over, but having seen how defensive he is, how bad his substitutions are, and the turgid football being served up, I think my patience has run out! I do not want him retained for next season if we really do have any ambitions of promo to the Prem. And sadly all of those empty seats in our brand new east stand! bristol hornet
  • Score: -3

11:27am Fri 28 Feb 14

WessexLad says...

tiger bay wrote:
No room for sentiment in this game Mr Sannino. If Neil is considered to be the best option then he should play. If not, then questions must be asked again about the validity of signing him. Best team EVERY time, professional integrity demands that as do the fans. .COYHS!!
True as far as it goes, but the "best player" in each position is determined by more than just innate skill; it also depends on fitness, ability to fit into the team, and the opposition's strengths and weaknesses.

Neill has only just arrived, so it would be perfectly logical to give him some time to get to know the other players, and they him.
[quote][p][bold]tiger bay[/bold] wrote: No room for sentiment in this game Mr Sannino. If Neil is considered to be the best option then he should play. If not, then questions must be asked again about the validity of signing him. Best team EVERY time, professional integrity demands that as do the fans. .COYHS!![/p][/quote]True as far as it goes, but the "best player" in each position is determined by more than just innate skill; it also depends on fitness, ability to fit into the team, and the opposition's strengths and weaknesses. Neill has only just arrived, so it would be perfectly logical to give him some time to get to know the other players, and they him. WessexLad
  • Score: 9

11:39am Fri 28 Feb 14

Harry's Bar says...

Wembley84 wrote:
“We had the opportunity to sign Lucas Neill but I am not obliged to use him in the next game". Do we think that says he doesn't agree with Nani's choices either?
It's fairly apparent that Saninno wasn't consulted by Nani on this one, which makes you wonder what's happened in the past. For the Head Coach / Technical Director set up to work they must have a good working relationship. I sense it's non existent at the moment, which will probably spell the end for one of them, or possibly both, in the Summer.
[quote][p][bold]Wembley84[/bold] wrote: “We had the opportunity to sign Lucas Neill but I am not obliged to use him in the next game". Do we think that says he doesn't agree with Nani's choices either?[/p][/quote]It's fairly apparent that Saninno wasn't consulted by Nani on this one, which makes you wonder what's happened in the past. For the Head Coach / Technical Director set up to work they must have a good working relationship. I sense it's non existent at the moment, which will probably spell the end for one of them, or possibly both, in the Summer. Harry's Bar
  • Score: 3

12:00pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Ramageland says...

Nothing to do with Neill, but Sky Sports are reporting that Boothroyd has got a job with the FA in the elite development set up - the future of English football !!
Nothing to do with Neill, but Sky Sports are reporting that Boothroyd has got a job with the FA in the elite development set up - the future of English football !! Ramageland
  • Score: 3

12:31pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Hornankey says...

Then why sign him at this stage of the season? Clearly a serious disconnect between those responsible for recruitment and team selection.
Then why sign him at this stage of the season? Clearly a serious disconnect between those responsible for recruitment and team selection. Hornankey
  • Score: 2

12:45pm Fri 28 Feb 14

SimmyB says...

watford1881 wrote:
Don't think Neill is any better than any other defensive player we already have anyway.. Maybe 5 years ago.. Not now.. Blackburn didn't want him..
We don't know until we play him and see what he's like with the rest of the team. I say get him on even if its for one half of a game.
[quote][p][bold]watford1881[/bold] wrote: Don't think Neill is any better than any other defensive player we already have anyway.. Maybe 5 years ago.. Not now.. Blackburn didn't want him..[/p][/quote]We don't know until we play him and see what he's like with the rest of the team. I say get him on even if its for one half of a game. SimmyB
  • Score: 3

1:59pm Fri 28 Feb 14

AngelHornet says...

Apparantly Neill was looking for a club and contacted Nani/Duxberry who he knew from their West Ham days.
Apparantly Neill was looking for a club and contacted Nani/Duxberry who he knew from their West Ham days. AngelHornet
  • Score: -2

4:52pm Fri 28 Feb 14

tiger bay says...

WanderingDynamo wrote:
I understand the want to win attitude of supporters but the opening two posts urge sentiment & respect to be thrown by the wayside.

I've no problem with demanding the selection of the best XI and sport, professional sport without a doubt, should be played to win.
But sentiment is a part of sport too. We all have favourites, beit players, systems or kits from the past!

And respect. How many times have we moaned about opposition teams, managers, players or even supporters from those teams not showing WFC respect? Yet we don't want our manager showing our own players respect.

Bizarre.

What a sad indictment of the modern game and modern life as we know it.
Since when has dropping players been showing disrespect?? Now that IS bizarre!! Players should be selected on merit. .anything else is bizarre. . Bringing players in to the club when the team is struggling and NOT playing them is bizarre. Getting loans in e.g. Bellerin, Young, Ranegie etc.. is BOTH bizarre AND disrespectful to the player AND the parent club. How many more loanees do you think Arsenal will give us after the treatment and lack of respect to Hector Bellerin and Park Young?? I don't know and personally doubt whether or not Lucas Neil is the answer to the lack of leadership, poor defensive organisation, inability to defend set pieces etc. ..but im willing to give him a chance. ..it would be bizarre not to. ..
[quote][p][bold]WanderingDynamo[/bold] wrote: I understand the want to win attitude of supporters but the opening two posts urge sentiment & respect to be thrown by the wayside. I've no problem with demanding the selection of the best XI and sport, professional sport without a doubt, should be played to win. But sentiment is a part of sport too. We all have favourites, beit players, systems or kits from the past! And respect. How many times have we moaned about opposition teams, managers, players or even supporters from those teams not showing WFC respect? Yet we don't want our manager showing our own players respect. Bizarre. What a sad indictment of the modern game and modern life as we know it.[/p][/quote]Since when has dropping players been showing disrespect?? Now that IS bizarre!! Players should be selected on merit. .anything else is bizarre. . Bringing players in to the club when the team is struggling and NOT playing them is bizarre. Getting loans in e.g. Bellerin, Young, Ranegie etc.. is BOTH bizarre AND disrespectful to the player AND the parent club. How many more loanees do you think Arsenal will give us after the treatment and lack of respect to Hector Bellerin and Park Young?? I don't know and personally doubt whether or not Lucas Neil is the answer to the lack of leadership, poor defensive organisation, inability to defend set pieces etc. ..but im willing to give him a chance. ..it would be bizarre not to. .. tiger bay
  • Score: 3

6:55pm Fri 28 Feb 14

The BestTrip2011 says...

He's not fit! Not nearly fit. Pointless.
He's not fit! Not nearly fit. Pointless. The BestTrip2011
  • Score: 3

7:02am Sat 1 Mar 14

francowatford says...

To say respect to the other players shows that the team have been moaning about loan players comming in and taking a permanent team members place.this must grate on the youth fringe players that want to show that can possible make it.
To say respect to the other players shows that the team have been moaning about loan players comming in and taking a permanent team members place.this must grate on the youth fringe players that want to show that can possible make it. francowatford
  • Score: 0

1:13pm Sat 1 Mar 14

soulfulhornet says...

More iumportantly than respect which is important is whether Neill is match fit. when did he last paly a competitive game ? How long will it take to integrate into the team and squad ? Unless he is super fit and a football genius (I think not), just a good pro, then he needs to be eased in. Make sense not to play him immediately.
More iumportantly than respect which is important is whether Neill is match fit. when did he last paly a competitive game ? How long will it take to integrate into the team and squad ? Unless he is super fit and a football genius (I think not), just a good pro, then he needs to be eased in. Make sense not to play him immediately. soulfulhornet
  • Score: 0

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