Sam Allardyce saw his return to the dugout with Crystal Palace overshadowed by a bizarre row between Wilfried Zaha and Watford's mascot.
Allardyce walked straight into another potential storm with the Football Association and called on his old employers to act after the Palace winger was mocked by Harry the Hornet.
Watford's club mascot performed a mock dive at the feet of Zaha in the aftermath of the 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road. Zaha, who had earlier been booked for diving, had to be ushered away by the Palace backroom staff.
“The Premier League and FA can look at that and do what they want to do,” said Allardyce. “That's up to Watford to sort that out really. It could have made the wrong reaction as we know. The mascot is out of order, isn't he? If someone is diving, they don't get that angry. But I'm concerned about my team and the overall performance.”
Allardyce's struggling side picked up a point after Troy Deeney's penalty cancelled out Yohan Cabaye's first-half opener. He wanted all three points and had to settle for one, yet admits he was just glad to be back in management after his sacking by England in September.
“I don't enjoy games very much as a manager, never have, but it's great to be back in this league, in the top league in the world, and competing against teams with outstanding players and managers,” he said.
“I was excited, a bit nervous for us obviously, but nice to be back. Hopefully I can continue to do for Palace where I left off at Sunderland. We've had one clean sheet all season, and that's the main priority. We've got a team who create chances. I need to make sure those chances turn performances into three points.
“At least we've picked up a point. It should have been three. That's pretty encouraging for me, to be saying I'm disappointed for throwing two points away.”
Palace were clearly fuming over Zaha's treatment but Watford manager Walter Mazzarri played down the incident.
He said: “Let's all laugh together about this. Everything doesn't have to be a drama.”
Deeney's spot-kick was his 100th goal in Watford colours and the striker said: “It's nice to finally get it done. I've had a stinker lately. It's a huge weight off my shoulders, it's one of them when I retire I will realise it. But I'll keep settling targets, now I need 105.”
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