Ranieri's Rants: Watford (FA Cup)

Last updated : 06 January 2004 By Rich Godden
Claudio said: "I have four centre-backs - Marcel Desailly, William Gallas, John Terry and Robert Huth - so at this moment, I am happy. Marcel had a bad injury to his back and now he's back. It's normal. Maybe sometimes it wasn't only Marcel, but everyone and the first-half was not good.

"We cannot concede 45 minutes to the opponents like that. They created two or three great chances to score and Chelsea cannot permit this. All the high balls were dangerous for us and that's not possible.

"I had hoped to give some rest to John Terry without suffering in this way. But we missed him. Can I afford to leave him out again? At this moment, no.

"Frank Lampard also needs some rest. He didn't play as well as he normally does but he is always important for us. I cannot give rest to him and Makelele.

"But I'm thinking about Juan Sebastian Veron, Emmanuel Petit and all my injured players, I'm focusing on them, not any new players.''

Meanwhile Watford boss Ray Lewington said: "Looking at the tapes, we saw that they conceded from a corner and a cross against Charlton, and we felt that we could even things up a bit from crosses and set-pieces.

"Helguson in the air is as good as anyone, pound for pound. His technique and spring are fantastic. He'd given anyone a good going over. The replay is going to be that much harder on a decent pitch in front of their fans. We know that you normally only get one chance but surprises do still happen.

"Whatever happens, we've got a nice pay-day for the club, which is vital for us. We have made about £400,000 from this tie and some more from the replay. It helps to chip away at the debts. Things are bad but getting slightly better."