THE Hornets rounded off a week’s training in Austria this afternoon with a 0-0 friendly draw against Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala, and Ikechi Anya said afterwards he’s delighted with the progress Watford are making.
Today’s result follows Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over FC Union Berlin and ensures the Hornets remain unbeaten in four games so far this pre-season, something the Scottish international believes is important ahead of the season opener against Southampton on Saturday August 13.
“I think it’s all about momentum,” he told watfordfc.com.
“As long as you keep grinding out these results you start to get that winning feeling, which is important.
“Slowly but surely we’re all learning what the new manager wants from us, because you’ve got to remember that he’s only been here for three weeks. We’ve got new players as well, so they’ve got to learn the system and I think we’re making steady progress.
“For me it’s all about being ready for that Southampton game and I think recent results and performances show we are heading in the right direction.”
Anya once again lined up at right wing-back in Mazzarri’s preferred 3-5-2 formation, with much of the Hornets’ attacking threat against Anzhi coming courtesy of the 28-year-old.
It’s perhaps unsurprising that Anya has taken to the change in formation so well, having played there previously during his time in Hertfordshire, and he is relishing the prospect of adapting to the position once again.
“When I first came here under Gianfranco Zola we managed to play this formation really well and got to the play-off final.
“It was a formation I enjoyed playing in then, and I like the freedom it gives me. Obviously the gaffer has come in now and is implementing his new ideas on the way we play, and it’s been great to play in so far.
“Like I said, we’re unbeaten and hopefully we can carry that on.”
After an intense week of training, attention now gradually begins to turn to the start of the new Premier League campaign when the Hornets visit St Mary’s.
Anya’s excitement is evident when looking ahead to that opening day clash, and he firmly believes the work being completed now will stand Watford in good stead for the upcoming campaign.
“It hasn’t been a holiday camp over here. We’ve been having double sessions every day and working hard to try and be ready for the Southampton game,” he said.
“We’ve got an excellent squad and some players are going to be disappointed come the 13th if they’re not in the starting line-up, but that’s a healthy thing.
“You have to give your all and hope to be one of the 11 who start, and that’s all I’m focusing on at the moment.”