Watford manager Walter Mazzarri pointed to his side’s convincing 2-0 win over West Brom on Tuesday as evidence he is not at risk of losing his job.
M’Baye Niang and Troy Deeney were both on target at Vicarage Road as the Hornets held on for victory, despite having defender Miguel Britos sent off with 25 minutes left.
The result puts Watford seven points behind the eighth-placed Baggies in the table but perhaps more importantly, extends their advantage above the relegation zone to 10 points.
Avoiding the drop, and comfortably, may still not be enough to save Mazzarri, however, with reports suggesting the Watford hierarchy are unhappy with both the Italian’s style of play and lack of fluent English.
“The newspapers say many things. They also said Deeney is signing for West Bromwich and then he wouldn’t have played today,” Mazzarri said.
“The newspapers can write stories or whatever they want. They are free to do that. I said it before, I speak only about hard work and things on the pitch and in training.
“The rest, whatever they invent I don’t care. I want to underline that for me the first 30 minutes is the best game we have played.
“It means after seven months it gives me great satisfaction to see that my team play this football with young players.”
Watford’s victory, however, was blighted by an injury to Sebastian Prodl and Britos’ sending off, which leaves Mazzarri short of central defenders ahead of Saturday’s visit to Tottenham.
Britos’ second yellow card means he will now be suspended for the trip to White Hart Lane while Younes Kaboul is also out with a hamstring strain.
“I am very angry,” Mazzarri said. “Because we miss now Prodl, who got injured, we miss Kaboul. who got injured in the last game, and then two yellow cards for Britos when the yellow cards were non-existent.”
Britos’ second booking for a tussle with Salomon Rondon was one of several incidents to irritate Mazzarri, who left the match early after shaking hands with opposite manager Tony Pulis.
“I don’t like to stay until the end and pretend like I’m an actor,” Mazzarri said.
Pulis laughed off Mazzarri’s prompt departure, comparing it to when Jose Mourinho enraged then-Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert with a similarly brief exit three years ago.
“He did a Mourinho on me,” Pulis said. “He shook my hand before the end.”
On his side’s performance, Pulis added: “The first goal gave them a massive lift. I thought they dominated the first half but we came back into it.
“I’m not going to criticise the players, they gave it a right go, we just lacked a bit of quality and a bit of luck.”