Gianfranco Zola concedes he must win over Watford fans
New Watford manager Gianfranco Zola concedes he may have burned a few bridges with supporters by the manner in which he was appointed at Vicarage Road.
The former Chelsea forward has penned a two-year deal with the Hornets, joining a day after boss Sean Dyche was sacked.
The move was made by Watford's new owners, the Pozzo family, who recently completed their takeover of the club from Laurence Bassini.
The decision to appoint Zola in place of Dyche has disappointed some fans, having seen the former Watford defender help the club to a respectable 11th-placed finish in his only season at the helm.
"Of course I have to [mend some bridges]," the former West Ham manager said.
"I know that the person who was here before me has done very well and to him goes my respect and my admiration.
"He has done a very good job so for me the task will be difficult, but it has always been like that for me. It has always been a challenge since I started playing football.
"I was half of the size of the others and they said I wouldn't stand a chance to become a footballer.
"I took that challenge and now I have another difficult challenge.
"I told the players I will give everything I have got inside to make them a little bit better and then we will see how the results (go).
"It is interesting. It is a challenge and I take it."
Zola will be revealing his new-look backroom team in the coming days and is currently assessing the playing squad.
One player he definitely wants to keep is Watford's reigning player of the year, Adrian Mariappa.
The defender, whose agent had talks with the club this week, has been attracting admiring glances from the Premier League with Reading expressing an interest.
"Adrian I know is a very good player and was one of the best last year," Zola said.
"Obviously we want to keep him but we understand it is not only our decision, also it's Adrian's.
"I understand he maybe has the possibility to go to the Premier League and I won't step in front of him and stop him if he wants to go."
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