Watford boss Xisco Munoz rues his bad luck four days ahead of facing Newcastle United
Xisco Munoz has 100% focus on Newcastle United.
A win for Watford would see them already seven points ahead of Newcastle after only six matches, with a very defined split of three wins and three defeats to start their Premier League season.
However, defeat for Newcastle United on Saturday would guarantee them staying in the relegation zone, with only two points from a possible eighteen.
If Steve Bruce was hoping for a cup distraction to help Newcastle United ahead of the weekend, he needs to think again.
Despite claiming he was totally committed to the cups, Bruce changed nine of the ten outfield players as Newcastle lost at home to Burnley (Burnley who cruised through to the final 16 last night with a 4-1 win over Rochdale).
Watford went a couple better on Tuesday night as he played an entire reserve team in their third round League Cup game.
On Saturday an excellent performance saw Watford win 3-1 at Norwich with a team of:
Foster, Femenía, Troost-Ekong, Cathcart, Rose, Kucka, Sissoko, Sarr, Cleverley, Dennis, King
However, against Stoke last night, Xisco Munoz fielded:
Elliot, Ngakia, Kabasele, Sierralta, Masina, Tufan, Louza, Gosling, Hernández Suárez, Fletcher, Sema
Rob Elliot and Dan Gosling were joined on the pitch by Moussa Sissoko in the 74th minute to make it a trio of ex-NUFC players. However, one of Sissoko’s first contributions was to provide a deflection to a shot from Clucas, which then eluded Elliot to give Stoke a 2-1 lead, Elliot then beaten again on 85 minutes to complete the job for Stoke and their manager – ex-NUFC striker Michael O’Neill.
Watford boss Xisco Munoz claimed after the cup defeat…:
“These games sometimes happen and today was the day.
“The game was perfect [for Stoke].
“Their goalkeeper saved incredible balls, we hit the post, we missed the chances.
“In the second half we played the complete game, had control of the game and I don’t know how many chances in the second half.
“We can say that it was an incredible game because I have no other words about this.”
Despite playing an entire reserve team in order to keep his first choice side to face Newcastle United, Xisco Munoz had some justification for claiming it an unlucky cup defeat.
Only 8,421 there to see it but Watford had 26 shots to 11 from Stoke, whilst the corner count was 8-1 in Watford’s favour, only the 1-3 scoreline going against them.
Hopefully Watford’s bad luck won’t end there and will overflow into the weekend. However, one thing for sure, Xisco Munoz will have a completely rested and ready first eleven to try and put Newcastle United into even more serious relegation trouble than they are already.
I suppose by making such a feeble effort to beat Burnley in the last round, you could claim Steve Bruce also ‘rested’ his entire first eleven as well this midweek…
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