The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

ance,” added Zola.“There have been a lot of emo­tions to go through – and it was a great game.

“I have a lot of faith in th­ese play­ers; and they showed me once again why I have that faith with the way the re­sponded to the many chal­lenges they faced against a very good team.

“This is us, this is our sea­son some­times. It’s the story of our sea­son a lit­tle bit, isn’t it? It’s ex­cit­ing not to be cer­tain what is hap­pen­ing next – al­though it would be great to know that we are go­ing to be suc­cess­ful.”

The hosts, them­selves har­bour­ing hopes of pro­mo­tion through the play­offs be­fore kick-off, were un­done by Wat­ford in a dev­as­tat­ing two-minute spell be­fore half-time.

An un­marked Joel Ek­strand knocked down Al­men Abdi’s cor­ner and Deeney pounced for his 19th goal of the sea­son.

Eng­land U21 in­ter­na­tional Chalobah then struck be­fore Le­ices­ter sub­sti­tute Kane halved the deficit on the hour mark from Paul Konch­esky’s de­flected cross.

The Foxes were buoy­ant, Kane tested Manuel Al­mu­nia’s palms shortly af­ter­wards, but their hopes of a top-six berth suf­fered a blow.

“I think it’s been an­other frus­trat­ing game for us, and un­for­tu­nately I think con­ced­ing two goals in quick suc­ces­sion be­fore half­time had a pretty vis­i­ble ef­fect on the play­ers men­tally,” said Le­ices­ter boss Nigel Pear­son.

“It knocked us for six re­ally. Up un­til that point we’d been very much in the as­cen­dancy, but that’s been the story of the last two or three months for us.

“The fans have stuck be­hind the play­ers, been very pos­i­tive, but un­for­tu­nately we weren’t able to de­liver again. It’s a shame be­cause we’ve made some real progress, but un­for­tu­nately the re­sults haven’t done enough to get us where we want to be.

“The bot­tom line is we’re look­ing at the game and we’ve un­for­tu­nately not done enough to win. It’s not a case of look­ing for ex­cuses or try­ing to hide be­hind what the Cham­pi­onship.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

CAN’T TOUCH ME: Nathaniel Chalobah cel­e­brates his strike for Wat­ford

HAVE THAT: Troy Deeney scores for Wat­ford

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