Belfast Telegraph

Mazzarri demanding no let up from Watford players against champions Chelsea

Watford manager Walter Mazzarri is in no doubt Chelsea deserve the plaudits as Premier League champions, but remains determined his players will not get swept up in the title celebrations at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.

Antonio Conte's men made sure of top spot by defeating West Brom 1-0 on Friday night at The Hawthorns, which takes the pressure off their showdown with the Hornets, whose defeat at Everton was a fourth straight loss.

While Chelsea are preparing for a party atmosphere in front of their fans, Mazzarri must lift his players to make sure they avoid the campaign fading out now they have secured top-flight status once again.

"Congratulations to Chelsea. They have had a great season and deserve it, they were better than everyone else in the Premier League," said the Italian.

"They have to celebrate over the weekend and don't think about our game."

Mazzarri added: "We have to play as we did (against Everton) at Chelsea.

"Of course, these players are giving me a lot of satisfaction - they are giving everything and trying their best.

"Also Everton had reached their objective, and look how they played, t he nice thing in England is teams never give up until it is finished."

Watford were dealt another defensive injury blow by the loss of Christian Kabasele to a hamstring problem during the first half at Goodison Park on Friday.

With centre-back Miguel Britos having recently joined Craig Cathcart and Younes Kaboul in a busy treatment room, Mazzarri admits resources have been stretched.

"I am very angry because everything is happening in the same positions. We are now missing four defenders and it is very unlucky," said Mazzarri, who will at least be able to call on midfielder Tom Cleverley, who was not eligible to face parent club Everton under the terms of his loan deal.

"Hopefully we will get back some injured players and hopefully it will go well. I would like all of them back, but instead of returning I keep losing them."

Mazzarri believes Watford's end to the campaign could have been very different but for their mounting injury list.

"When we had the full squad we were seventh in the table, now we are missing four or five important players," he said.

"It never happened (to us) before this season to lose four games in a row, but it has happened to other teams who are stronger, so this is normal in the Premier League.

"I am convinced with a full squad we would have more points than we have now."

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