December 12 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Gianfranco Zola is a worthy adversary for Chris Hughton with the Italian’s side standing between Norwich City and Capital One Cup progress.
Zola guided the Hornets to the Championship play-off final in his first season at Vicarage Road and the former Chelsea legend has Watford challenging again with Troy Deeney underlining his reputation as one of the best strikers outside the top flight.
“He is a lad who has really made progress there. Sometimes you find a right club and Watford seems to be that one,” said Hughton. “He is certainly one that can’t do any more to give himself that opportunity to eventually step up. He is in a team that scores goals. We know all about Watford and their goalscoring power. They are a very good side at home. They haven’t changed too much from last season when they were very close to getting promotion and a lot of people really fancied them to go up. We expect a very tough game.
“I think Zola’s record speaks for itself. They just missed out last season and they started a touch slower this season but they are in a good rhythm at the moment. I saw them play at home to Doncaster in midweek and they have since scored five at Barnsley. There has been a massive turnover of loan players and he was criticised in certain quarters for having so many but that in itself brings its own demands trying to gel everyone together.”
Hughton’s starting line-up for the previous round win over Bury was a response to Premier League defeat at Hull and the City boss will again give his squad a chance to impress following the Aston Villa loss. Josh Murphy could be in line for his first team debut after impressing at development level this season following his return from the club’s US summer tour, where he announced his arrival with a stunning strike in the first tour match win over Mexican side Dorados de Sinaloa in Sacramento.
“What happened at the weekend does not make any difference in so much as if we win the game I have selected the right team,” he said. “The only thing I am worried about is putting out a side that can get us into the next round. It’s a good opportunity for those in the squad who have not been involved.
“This competition comes behind the Premier League but it is an important game for us.
“Young Josh Murphy will also be in the squad. Whether he starts is a decision I have to make but we feel he deserves to be in and around it. He has done very well in the development games.”