Mazzarri | “We Want To Go As High As Possible”

Walter Mazzarri has challenged his players to aim ‘as high as possible’ as Watford approach the final eight games of the 2016/17 Premier League season.

Six crucial points gained from Sunderland and West Brom this week have lifted the Hornets to 10th in the table, but Mazzarri insists there’s still plenty to play for, not least ensuring mathematical safety at the earliest opportunity.

“First we must be mathematically safe. Of course our target is to remain in the Premier League, but I always tell my players to never be satisfied,” said the Head Coach at his pre-Tottenham press conference.

“There are no limits for me. We must play every match as a final. We’ve got 24 points to play for and we want to go as high as possible for two reasons.

“First it is a question of having a winning mentality, and we will also see for next season who deserves to stay in the squad.”

With nine points now separating Watford and the bottom three, Mazzarri hopes two wins on the bounce will empower his side to express themselves more freely on the pitch.

“Now that we have reached 37 points and we are eight games from the end of the season, my players can play more freely,” he said.

“They can be calmer and they have more room to play.”

But the Italian knows the size of the task that awaits at White Hart Lane on Saturday (12.30pm KO), where Watford meet a Tottenham side who still have an outside chance of winning the Premier League.

“Chelsea have the advantage [in the title race], but there are eight games left and Tottenham have proved to be really good,” said Mazzarri.

“They at least deserve second place.”

Several Watford players face fitness tests ahead of the Spurs game – click below to find out who.



Graham Taylor Matchday Confirmation

Watford will host Aston Villa on Saturday July 29 at Vicarage Road (3pm kick-off), in a special memorial matchday for the late Graham Taylor OBE. 

At the request of his family, profits from the friendly will be split evenly between two charities Graham had a close connection to - the National Memorial Arboretum and the Hornets' self-financing registered charity, the Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust.

Watford will welcome up to 4,500 Aston Villa supporters, while the rest of Vicarage Road will be filled with home fans for the 'Graham Taylor Trophy', an annual fixture contested by Watford and any one of Taylor's former sides.

Ticket information and a timetable of the day's events will be announced closer to the time of the game.