PREVIEW IN QUOTES – Watford

Ahead of tomorrow’s third round FA Cup match with Watford, here all of the quotes you need before the match. As well as quotes from Mancini, Yaya Toure and Nastasic see what Watford manager, Gianfranco Zola, and centre-half, Joel Ekstrand, have to say.

Roberto Mancini

I respected him (Zola) as a player when he played and now as a manager. I think he did a good job when he was at West Ham and now with Watford. He was a fantastic player, his quality was of top level. He did very well in Italy and very well in England with Chelsea.

As a manager you need time but he still did very well with West Ham and I think he has a good chance to bring Watford into the first division because he knows football very well. The FA Cup is totally different from the Premier League. Probably for Watford it is the most important game in the year and we won’t change a lot of players – we don’t have the players

Yaya Toure

I’ll be keeping up with what is happening while I’m away and I’m hoping I can take part in the FA Cup on my return. It’s a very special competition for me because it’s where our journey as a team began. It’s where the trophies started and was our first achievement and it’s definitely a completion we would love to win again. I’ll never forget scoring the winning goals in the semi-final and final in 2011 so the FA Cup will always mean a great deal to me on a personal level.

We are out of Europe now so it’s important we focus on the competitions we can still win – it’s vital we do this because we want to win more and more cups for our fans and I think they would really enjoy another trip to Wembley. We have to win something this season but nothing comes easily. We need to keep everyone fit and I hope it is like last year when we managed to avoid injuries to all our major players because it is a time of the campaign when you need your strongest team available.

Matija Nastasic

Of course it is very important for us to win; we want to win every competition we take part in. It is important that we try our best to win this competition as well as retain the Premier League title. I grew up watching the FA Cup and I’ve seen many games in the competition before.

We all know that on the day anything can happen, so it is important that we are at our best. I would be very happy. I always want to do my best and do the best I can for the team and that is what I will continue to do. Our main objective is to win on Saturday and to continue to go forward in this competition.

Gianfranco Zola 

Roberto was a pain in the butt to play against. He was so good, so talented and such an intelligent player. But I wanted to kick him a few times when we were opponents because we are both so competitive. And it’s no different as managers. I am proud of my team and would love to see them give the Premier League champions a good game.

I’ve had some good moments with him in opposition, but I’ve also had some painful moments because I played in an era when the competition for places in the Italian national team was crazy. As well as Del Piero, Baggio, Mancini, Signori, Totti and others, it was a tough period to make the Azzurri because Arrigo Sacchi preferred the 4-4-2 system and only two of us could play. I always got on OK with Roberto, except when we played against Sampdoria – because him and Gianluca Vialli were so ­difficult to handle.

He scored an unbelievable goal against us at Napoli, one of the best goals I’ve ever seen. But as well as being a fantastic player, he has always been a great competitor. That’s why you always had a lot of respect for him.

But it was a surprise to me that he became a manager. I knew he was ­intelligent and thought a lot about the game, but normally players like him, who interpret the game differently, you don’t expect them to be managers. Sometimes, the flair players don’t always make top managers, but he has done really well.

I wouldn’t start a mental battle with Sir Alex Ferguson, that’s for sure. I don’t know how much he enjoys it, but Mancini has been in the job for a while and has competed at the highest level, so I don’t think he will step back.

Mancini won the league three years in a row at Inter, which doesn’t come easy, and I think the job he has done for City has been appreciated in Italy as a good job. But we can win a Cup tie against his team because football is like that. Even if you are champions of the country, playing against a Championship team doesn’t give you a divine right to say you have already won the game. City will have to play a good game to beat us, even if their team cost more than £300million

Joel Ekstrand

For me it’s a nice opportunity to go up against very, very good opponents and it’s an opportunity for us.  It’s a high value game and I’m looking forward to playing in it. There’s no doubt it is going to be a really tough game but, all we can do is our best and then we will see what happens. It’s a good test to see where we are. Of course, we are the underdogs but it’s a really good opportunity for the club, the team and individuals to show themselves.

It’s going to be a game where we can relax – not having any pressure on us. In the league we have a reputation which is meaning many teams fear us now. Our away fans are brilliant anyway but to have 6,000 up at Manchester City is going to be amazing. I would like to thank them in advance for coming to support us. It’s great for the players and we want them to know we appreciate it very much.

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