Soccer-Man City trip is a gift, says Watford manager Sannino

Reuters

LONDON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Gifts come in all shapes and sizes but a trip to face the Manchester City goal machine at their Emirates Stadium fortress would probably not be on the wish list of most managers.

Unless, that is, you are Watford's head coach Beppe Sannino who takes his Championship (second division) side into the lion's den for an FA Cup fourth-round tie on Saturday.

City completed a 9-0 aggregate demolition of Premier League West Ham United in the Capital One League Cup semi-final this week and few would wager much money on Watford stemming City's goal flow which has already passed the 100-mark this season.

Manuel Pellegrini's side have racked up 106 goals in all competitions and 15 in their last three home games and will field a strong line-up against Watford as they continue their trophy hunt on four fronts.

Sannino, however, is not afraid.

"This game should be a gift for my players, I know we played there last season but I still believe it is a gift," Sannino told Watford's website.

"We don't want a game where we watch them and don't do anything - we want to create some problems even though they are where they are in the League.

"If we keep our composure and our shape during the game, we should have a good time.

"What does that mean? I don't know in this situation, whether that is to win, to draw or to lose but, to have a good time. We have to use our intelligence".

Watford, who have former Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia in goal, are 15th in the Championship and have spent no money on players this season, dealing mostly in free transfers.

City on the other hand splashed nearly 60 million pounds ($100 million) on the likes of Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic and are breathing down the necks of Arsenal at the top of the Premier League after hitting top form.

Pellegrini, however, said there was no chance of his side taking their foot of the gas.

"We try to continue to play our attacking style throughout the season," he said. "There may be games we don't score so many games but we won't be changing our style or philosophy.

"Watford may not be having a great season in the Championship but they will be motivated when they play us because this is the FA Cup and they will want to beat a Premier League side." ($1 = 0.6013 British pounds) (Reporting by Martyn Herman)

View Comments