Ince: We deserved that

Paul Ince and Gianfranco Zola
Paul Ince and Gianfranco Zola
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Blackpool boss Paul Ince insisted his team thoroughly deserved to claim a 2-1 Championship win at Watford.

The promotion-chasing Hornets were on track to make it five home wins from six games when Cristian Battocchio dinked the ball over Matthew Gilks midway through the first half.

However, Gianfranco Zola’s side were unable to push on after the break and the visitors equalised when Ince’s son Tom flicked home a low Stephen Crainey cross.

And the visitors went on to clinch the win late on when Gary MacKenzie bundled the ball in after Watford goalkeeper Jonathan Bond had spilled a corner.

The Blackpool boss said: “I thought it was a good game all round. When I look back on the whole game, I thought we were the better team.

“Watford came at us in the first 15 minutes, Jonathan Hogg should have scored for them with a header.

“We had a couple of chances and I wouldn’t say we found it hard - but we took our time to get into the game.

“But once we got into the game I thought we looked a very, very good side.

“The disappointing thing was the goal. It was a diabolical decision from the linesman - when their player kicked the ball out for a throw it was so plain to see.

“Then the geezer (Fernando Forestieri) took the throw with both feet off the ground - and then to compound that our centre-half made a mistake and we’re 1-0 down.

“After that we still showed belief, we didn’t drop our heads and we kept believing we could get back into the game and that’s a credit to the players.

“Towards the back end of the first half we looked like we were going to get a goal back, we played some lovely football and in the second half it was more of the same.

“If you can get the next goal, they’ll get a little bit apprehensive because of where they are in the league - and it proved right.”

The outcome might have been different had referee Andrew Madley awarded Watford a penalty at the end of each half after both Troy Deeney and Lloyd Doyley were fouled in the area.

Head coach Gianfranco Zola was visibly fuming about the decisions and said: “It was one of those days that has been made like it is by one man on the pitch today - and he wasn’t wearing a yellow or an orange shirt.

“I would love to spend more of my time talking about somebody else and I don’t like talking about the referees.

“But today he’s made a difference and I feel so upset, not because of him but because of my players, because they didn’t deserve to lose a game like this.

“They worked very hard and they deserved something more on the pitch. The reason they didn’t get it was because of him.

“He had a very poor day and he had two opportunities. He had the opportunity towards the end to at least make up a little bit for his bad day and he didn’t do that and I feel furious about it.”

Despite the defeat, Zola remains confident about his side’s promotion prospects, explaining: “Today was very difficult circumstances, with a lot of injuries and players that just played for the first time and players that hadn’t played for a long time.

“And we played a good game against a very good team, so I’m more than convinced that we’ll be fighting to the end.”