Gianfranco Zola: Watford's last year's work at stake

Gianfranco Zola

Watford boss Gianfranco Zola believes an entire year's work is at stake in their game against Leeds on Saturday.

The Hornets will earn promotion to the Premier League if they better Hull's result against champions Cardiff.

"It's an important game for me - it's one year's work at stake," the Italian told BBC Three Counties Radio.

"I want people to be relaxed and play tomorrow as they have done throughout the season with enthusiasm, but willing to risk something."

Watford, who will still have the chance to end their six-year exile from the top flight via the play-offs if they cannot better Hull's result, stuttered at the start of this campaign, losing four of their first six games.

But Zola's side recovered from this blip to put themselves on the verge of promotion, and the former Chelsea striker says he will have no nerves come Saturday.

"You are nervous when you think that you haven't done enough," he said. "I believe we've tried to do everything we can and now we have to wait for the result.

"We have to make sure we win our game, and then whatever happens in the other game, happens."

This season is the first time the Hornets have been involved in the promotion shake-up since 2008, when, under Aidy Boothroyd, they lost 6-1 on aggregate in the play-off semi-finals to Hull, their closest rivals this campaign.

And Zola feels Saturday's sell-out match at Vicarage Road represents a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the Hertfordshire club.

"We started the season with 11,000 people, and now we have a full house and a lot of enthusiasm around," the 46-year-old said.

"That's a magnificent achievement for us and nobody will take that away. That's something everyone has to be proud of."

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