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.

PA

Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss