You could have driven a double decker bus through our defence

Last updated : 28 January 2009 By Tony Scholes
Brendan Rodgers, who replaced Boothroyd as manager at Vicarage Road said after the game: "We're not anything near my total idea of what I want to do, but for the first time we had a real strong bench tonight and the best teams can do that.

"It's a group effort. It was a fantastic performance by the whole group. We had a good meeting yesterday as a group, framing the rest of the season.

"This was one of the games to get us going and I was really, really pleased with that performance-wise, on a pitch that is really difficult for football, but we showed some good moments.

"We kept a clean sheet and that was very important, I never like to single out players because it is all about the team for me, but I thought Mike Williamson was outstanding. He's come on and clearly he's a good player. He's been playing in League Two. I like people who can defend, but I like people who can play football and I thought he was outstanding.

"I was trying to make sure that when we won the ball back that we kept it, that we looked after it, because none of my sides have ever been about defending for the game, for sure you have moments when you need to defend, and when you get it you must enjoy having the ball.

"I spoke with the players about 4-3-3 and I need to be fair to them and myself. It is something that can work for us, for sure, and I've also got to be fair to the players a wee bit and go back to what they know, which is 4-4-2, but also playing the football I want to see within that.

"I though in the last couple of games we've done that and you'll see the football mixed with the goals, defensively the best teams with the ball are the best teams without the balll, we scored three goals against a top team tonight."

Owen Coyle pulled no punches regarding Burnley's defending. "The players know my feelings," he said. "If they are not going to defend properly it might have to be a kid. It might have to be something as drastic as that, but I am not going to stand by and watch that defending week in and week out. I could probably go in myself at 42 and defend better than that it's not on.

"It was a bizarre night. We lost a goal after a minute when Chris McCann slipped, but you could have driven a double decker bus through our defence and even their lad needed two attempts to put it in.

"We defended abysmally and Watford defended well because we dominated the game, from Watford scoring the first goal. We had chances to get back in the game and never took them and the second error is a horrendous mistake.

"Unfortunately, I only had four fit defenders tonight and I've not been able to bring anyone in through finance. We just have to hope that we can get the two lads back who are injured and reshuffle again.

"I can accept getting beat with a bit of quality, but when it is self inflicted it leaves a bad taste in the mouth and that was the story of the game.

"I could accept it if it was fatigue, or we looked tired, but that wasn't the case. The first goal was poor enough, but the misplaced headed for the second and then the lad playing their lad onside is basic defending.

"I would expect to see that on the playground. We are not going to hide behind anything, the bottom line is we did not defend well enough."