Gianfranco Zola says winter weather will not stop Watford

Watford manager Gianfranco Zola

Watford boss Gianfranco Zola has backed the loan imports in his squad to cope with the English winter and keep them in the promotion picture.

The squad has been transformed since Zola took charge, with 16 players coming in, most of them non-British.

"Certainly, the conditions are difficult and it takes a bit of time to adapt to this," the Italian told BBC Three Counties Radio.

"We have intelligent players and they can handle it."

The Hornets are currently sixth in the Championship and were on a seven-match unbeaten run before last weekend's 2-1 home last weekend's 2-1 home defeat by Hull City, who are two places above them in the table.

Asked about the stereotypical image of some foreign players performing well in warm weather and then struggling in the winter months, Zola said: "I cannot say it is normal because we have players that come from Brazil, players that come from places where the climate is different.

"But the desire to be successful makes everyone stronger and that's what I'm looking for."

Watford travel to face Burnley on Saturday for a meeting with a side managed by former Hornets boss Sean Dyche.

He was relieved of his position last summer when the Hertfordshire club was taken over by the Pozzo family, who wanted Zola to take charge of the team. who wanted Zola to take charge of the team.

Zola again paid tribute to his predecessor, who guided Watford to an 11th-place finish last season.

"I've always said that I appreciate and recognise that he did a great job last year and I do hope he does a great job for Burnley - after Saturday," he said.

"We know the danger in this game and we need to make sure we can get round the problems they are going to create for us."

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