Ranieri: “I’m Proud Of My Players”

By: Watford FC Staff

Claudio Ranieri felt there were positives to take from his side’s performance despite the result, as Tottenham Hotspur scored a late winner to snatch the points.

Davinson Sanchez’s headed goal resigned Watford to defeat after an impressive defensive display for the majority of the encounter. The Head Coach felt the Golden Boys deserved more from the match following an improvement in the second half.

“I think we played a good match,” Ranieri said.

“We knew that Tottenham wanted to play counter-attacking football and we didn’t concede one counter-attack.

“Always we were very solid in defence. They made a lot of crosses, but with my taller players, we were very calm. In the first half, I wasn’t happy because we missed a lot of passes, but the second half was much better.

“João Pedro played a very good match and had two great chances to do something good. Also, Joshua King made a fantastic shot and [Hugo] Lloris made a very good save. What I didn’t think would happen was to concede a goal with a header. With all my tall players, to concede a goal in the last minute was a pity.”

Ranieri believes there are aspects to build upon following the productive performance of his players, as we head into the new year.

“I’m proud of my players and our fans should be proud because the match was good and we played much better,” he answered.

“The performance was much better than our last home match against West Ham. We are alive and we will survive. We are very concentrated on being solid.

“My players did everything to try to win and not concede a goal. We knew they wanted to have more space to play, and we closed all the space behind us.

“Now I lose some players [to the African Cup of Nations], so we have to do something. We will see. We are speaking every day with the board and I’m sure they will try to do something good for us.”

Ranieri also gave an update on the condition of Emmanuel Dennis following his substitution during the break, saying: “He had a little injury problem before, and he felt something as well, so we took a precaution.

“Before the match he wasn’t 100 per cent and I saw he was a little nervous during the match, so I changed and put on João Pedro who played a very good match.”

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