Beppe Sannino has tended to start his press conferences by making a whistle noise. But there was no good-natured introduction from the head coach at the Den this evening. The Watford boss was visibly annoyed as he reflected on the third occasion the Hornets have let two points slip by conceding a late goal in their past five matches following the 2-2 draw at Millwall.
The visitors looked set to close within five points of the play-offs – and with a game in hand – after Almen Abdi had given his side the lead in the final minutes of normal time after Steve Morison had cancelled out Lewis McGugan’s first-half opener.
But the Hornets never cleared their lines from a late corner, which keeper David Forde came up for as the relegation-threatened Lions threw everything forward to try and snatch a point, and the ball fell to Martyn Woolford. He fired a left-footed shot into the ground and Manuel Almunia failed to deal with it after making two high-class saves in the previous ten minutes.
“I’m not shocked, I’m angry because it’s happened again,” Sannino said: “It’s happened many times. If you follow Watford maybe you can agree with me. If you take off the stoppage time from our season we could be much higher in the table.”
Asked who he blamed for the late goal, Sannino replied: “I’m not blaming anyone. Football is made by moments.”
But the Hornets head coach continued: “I’m very angry but we have to try to carry on. We have to finish this season as best as possible and this season could be like a lesson for us, like a learning curve and maybe next season we could see that we learn something from this season. I’m being honest with you, never in my professional life have I been in this situation.”
Turning to the game in general, Sannino said: “It was a tough, tough game to come to play because Millwall need points. They needed a win to try to avoid relegation, we were aware of that, and I think in the first half we could score more goals to maybe more comfortable in the second half.
“But what is disappointing me is that when you score two minutes from the end of the game, you must win the game. If a team wants to achieve something important it can’t allow the team to equalise every time in stoppage time or the last few minutes of a game.
“I’m leading the group, I’m the coach and everyone of us has to understand where we are making mistakes.