Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Gianfranco Zola remains confident Watford can reach play-off final despite defeat to Leicester

The Hornets head back to Vicarage Road needing to overturn a 1-0 defeat

Gianfranco Zola is confident that Watford have the firepower to overturn their deficit in the npower Championship play-offs.

The Hornets head back to Vicarage Road for Sunday lunchtime's semi-final second leg 1-0 down to Leicester after last night's game.

Watford created the better chances, most notably the one-on-one opportunities that Ikechi Anya and Matej Vydra spurned.

Leicester, whose best openings came during the first half, edged ahead in the tie when David Nugent nodded home with eight minutes remaining.

Zola felt his side paid the price for their poor finishing but the Italian is confident the Hornets can turn it around on their own patch.

"Now we need to get ready and play the best game of our season as that is what will be necessary to beat Leicester," said Watford boss Zola, whose team netted 85 goals during the regular season to finish as the division's leading scorers.

"But I am sure we can do it. I am confident because we have goals in our side and we will have Troy Deeney back from suspension.

"I will have different options on Sunday, I'll [evaluate] all the players and will find the best solution.

"Matej [Vydra] works hard for the team and I know he is going to score an important goal for us."

Zola added: "I think we were punished for not being clinical enough.

"In other games we have created less chances and still won.

"I couldn't see Leicester scoring, I thought we had control of the game.

"But this is the reality and the Championship is like this, teams can punish you with very little opportunities. When you have good players like they have, this happens."

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson insists his side will not try to defend their lead at Vicarage Road and has promised they will go for another win.

"It's half-time and it's evenly poised and both sides will feel they have good chance of progressing," said Pearson.

"It's nice to go into the second game with a narrow advantage but we will try to win that one as well because we are a better team when we are on the front foot.

"I can give you my word that we'll have the same mindset. We will be positive and we will try and win the next game as well.

"I said it before the game, we will try and win both games."

Nugent headed home Anthony Knockaert's free-kick in the 82nd minute to end a 16-game goal drought.

It was the Leicester leading scorer's 15th goal of the season, having been stuck on 14 since scoring the winner in a 2-1 home victory over Wolves on January 31.