Watford skipper Troy Deeney says former boss Walter Mazzarri tried to sell him ‘behind his back’ while he was in charge.
Mazzarri lasted just one season at Vicarage Road (2016/2017) – he kept Watford up, but they lost their final six games of the season and the Italian’s lack of English angered many fans.
His relationship with Deeney was never rosey either and Watford’s talisman was consigned to the bench for the final four games of Mazzarri’s reign.
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Now Deeney has revealed that the manager wanted him gone during the January transfer window and that the duo never enjoyed a harmonious relationship.
“I didn’t get on with him from the start,” Deeney told the BBC.
“I tried to be respectful as I always am but then there were times when I was scoring, the team was winning and the next game I was on the bench.
“I asked if I’d done something wrong and it was ‘no, you’ve been great’. I asked for an answer and it never happened.
“He tried to sell me in the January which I didn’t like so I asked if I was available to be sold and was told ‘no we need you, you’re the captain, you’re everything’ – and the next thing you know he is still trying to sell me behind my back.
“As captain it became really difficult to relay the message you know you should to players who are not in the team, keeping them focused when I probably wasn’t fully focused.”
Deeney is enjoying life under current boss Javi Gracia however, netting twice in four games as Watford sit among the early pace-setters with four wins in a row.
Now 30, Deeney was driven by criticism last year to change his routine and make sure he was firing on all cylinders for the start of the campaign.
“It has just been giving up a lot of sugar, bread, milk and then it was the alcohol,” he added.
“I’ve got an addictive personality so if I drink I don’t have one or two I have 15 – or I have none. So now I’m having none, then picking the right times, like an international break when I had a few beers with my pals.
“I’ve trained smarter, with Jamie Reynolds who trains with Anthony Joshua. I was cutting corners before, I used to think if I trained really well I could go home and eat whatever I wanted.
“I was also drinking after games thinking the next game was not until the following week but not being educated enough to know that if the game is on the Saturday, the Sunday and Monday are the most important in terms of you recovery.”
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