If Watford were to be hit with a points deduction, which they won’t, for the fraudulent bank letter handed to the English Football when Gino Pozzo took sole control of the club two years ago, they have just the man to dig them out of a hole in Walter Mazzarri.
Mazzarri was in charge of the Reggina side who started the 2006/07 season with a 15-point deduction for their part in Calciopoli. the match-fixing scandal that rocked Italian football. The punishment was reduced to 11 on appeal yet Reggina were still certain to be relegated until Mazzarri got hold of them and led to them to an unlikely 14th-place finish.
“I have been through an experience in the past where my team had points deducted and they just worked even harder,” said Mazzarri. “It was at Reggina, at the start of my coaching career, when we had 15 points deducted and it was reduced to 11 on appeal. We still managed to finish with 51 points and we were called the champions of relegation because we managed to stay up. But we are talking about the past and I don’t want to talk too much about this – I will just tell my players not to look at the table and to concentrate on the next match.”
Mazzarri, however, is not worried in the slightest that Watford face any points sanction. A heavy fine is the likely upshot of the incident involving chairman Raffaele Riva.
“I’ve spoken to the owner and I’m not worried at all,” he said. “This will cause no distraction on the pitch. None of the players have asked me, or the club, about it, and if any of them came to me, I would tell them what I know – that I am not worried, and these things have nothing to do with the manager or players. I will keep them concentrated because they know their role.”