Belfast Telegraph

Walter Mazzarri insists he never met former Watford chairman Raffaele Riva

Watford head coach Walter Mazzarri says he has never even met Raffaele Riva, who resigned as the club's chairman on Wednesday.

Riva stepped down after allegations Watford provided a forged letter to the Football League in 2014. The letter was used as evidence that incoming owner Gino Pozzo could bankroll the club.

Both the Football League and Watford are investigating the allegations and Riva has since been replaced by chief executive Scott Duxbury.

The club released a statement on Wednesday, claiming they were confident of avoiding any sanctions, and Mazzarri insisted he was also unconcerned.

"I am perfect. I am not worried at all," Mazzarri said.

"I never met him and never had the pleasure to meet him. I know he was in charge in that position but I never had the pleasure to meet him.

"I always speak inside the club with the president Giampaolo Pozzo, chief executive Scott Duxbury and sporting director Luke Dowling."

On the field, Watford are enjoying a much smoother start to the season, sitting seventh in the Premier League table ahead of Sunday's trip to high-flying Liverpool.

The Hornets have lost only once in their last seven league matches.

Their talisman Troy Deeney, however, has not scored in his last three games as he continues to chase his 100th goal for the club.

"It's possible it's a psychological problem because on Sunday (against Hull) he should have scored," Mazzarri said.

"Now hopefully he can score on Sunday so that from here on he can score as many as possible."

Mazzarri is likely to be without Sebastian Prodl at Anfield after the defender was forced off late on against Hull with a muscle injury.

A late decision will also be made on striker Stefano Okaka, who is close to recovering from a hamstring strain, but Isaac Success (foot) and Craig Cathcart (groin) are out.

"Unfortunately Prodl has been added to the injury list - I don't think that he will be able to be available for this weekend but we will see," Mazzarri said.

"We will also think about Okaka but I don't want to run the risk of him getting even more injured. We will decide last minute."


From Belfast Telegraph