Watford boss Gianfranco Zola was obviously disappointed with the way the after ended, saying that he thought his team “could do it” when they only needed one goal with 15 minutes remaining (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Football League clubs vote to close loan loophole

Watford was criticised for the number of loan players they used last season

Watford boss Gianfranco Zola was obviously disappointed with the way the after ended, saying that he thought his team “could do it” when they only needed one goal with 15 minutes remaining (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Football league set to close loan loophole

Watford had 14 players on loan last season

Stuart Pearce has admitted that he cannot be certain Wilfried Zaha will be fit to play in the opening European Championship group match against Italy in Tel Aviv

Wilfried Zaha 'not certain' for England's opening U21 European Championship match against Italy

England's Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce has admitted that he cannot be certain Wilfried Zaha, the squad's most gifted player, will be fit to play in the opening European Championship group match against Italy in Tel Aviv on Wednesday. Manchester United's new signing sat out the first training session after only a brief warm-up.

Wilfried Zaha is expected to overcome an ankle injury

Wilfried Zaha and Nathan Chalobah join up with England Under-21 squad for European Championships

Duo provide much needed reinforcement to the squad

On the rise: Nathan Chalobah (left) and Wilfried Zaha have joined the Under-21s after the Championship play-off final

Stuart Pearce's Under-21s need goals to create breathing space

England go into the European Under-21 Championship finals in Israel this week as the only country to have qualified for the past four tournaments, all of them under Stuart Pearce, who replaced Peter Taylor as manager in 2007. They approach what may be Pearce's swansong – he has always said he wishes to return to club management – in fine form but with the usual crop of players unavailable, partly because Roy Hodgson wants the best ones for the senior squad.

Inexperience cost Watford against Crystal Palace, says former Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia

Captain Manuel Almunia believes youthful inexperience of the big occasion was the overriding factor behind Watford's frustrating below-par performance in yesterday's npower Championship play-off final defeat to Crystal Palace.

Crystal Palace on 'hiding to nothing' without Wilfred Zaha, says Ian Holloway as he considers loan move for Manchester United winger

Holloway is tempted to ask new United boss Moyes if he can borrow Zaha

Crystal Palace v Watford: Championship Play-off final player ratings

Man-for-man marking from Wembley

Wilfried Zaha, left, takes on Marco Cassetti, right

Wilfried Zaha the star turn as he gives Crystal Palace perfect parting gift

Eventually, after 104 minutes of witty teasing and puckish taunting, Wilfried Zaha drew the foul that won Crystal Palace the game and sent them up.

The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 28 May 2013

Palace keen for Phillips to stay on after £120m goal

Crystal Palace support their side at the Championship play-off final
Watford stalwart Lloyd Doyley

Watford seek repeat of 2006: No-frills Lloyd Doyley eager to serve up second slice of rich promotion cake

Amid all the comings and goings and ups and downs at Watford these past few years – the greatest upheaval materialising since the Pozzo family bought the club last June – one player has remained a constant, reassuring presence. Lloyd Doyley expects to take his place in defence at Wembley tomorrow for the 408th time since Gianluca Vialli summoned him into the first team in September 2001.

Championship play-off final: Crystal Palace defender Damien Delaney ready for biggest game of his life

“I didn’t think I would be in this situation,” said Damien Delaney, days before the biggest game of his life, with some understatement.

Championship play-off final: Gianfranco Zola reveals ambitious owners want to take Watford into Europe

Gianfranco Zola has revealed that Watford’s ambitious owners want to take the club all the way to European football, ahead of Monday’s Championship play-off final.

Gareth Bale, left, of Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal's goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, right

Kevin Garside: Final day coverage lifted by a penalty row, a cold sponge and a Gareth Bale screamer

The assumption Spurs would bury Sunderland was universally made

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