Fernando Forestieri: Watford boss Gianfranco Zola defends 'diver'

Watford boss Gianfranco Zola has insisted Fernando Forestieri is not a diver and has threatened to drop him should he deliberately go to ground.

The 22-year-old Argentine-born Italian striker was sent off in Tuesday's 2-1 win at Charlton following a booking for simulation.

Forestieri facts

  • Born in Rosario, Argentina on 15 January 1990
  • Started his career at Boca Juniors before moving to Italy, where he has played for Genoa and Udinese, as well as a host of loan clubs
  • Opted to represent Italy rather than Argentina and has played for the U17s, U19s, U20s and U21s
  • One of 10 players to join Watford on loan from Udinese and has made four starts, one sub appearance, scoring once

"He's quicker and that's why people think he dives - but he doesn't," Zola told BBC Three Counties Radio.

"I told him he's not going to play if I find out he's diving."

Zola added: "I don't like that. We want to win games in different ways."

Forestieri, one of 10 players signed on loan from Italian sister club Udinese this season, has found the net once in his five appearances for the Hornets.

The attacker, who had supplied the corner for youngster Tommie Holban to open the scoring against the Addicks, was dismissed late in the first half when referee Mike Dean adjudged him to have taken a tumble in the box.

But Zola said the fall was down to the type of boots Forestieri was wearing and argued the player's pace had seen him labelled as a diver.

"I spoke to Fernando and he said to me he slipped," said the Italian.

"He always makes the mistake of using the wrong boots. When he played at Huddersfield [last week] he kept slipping in the first half. So he has to improve that.

"The other team are trying to label him as a diver. The thing is he is quicker than most of the opposition and he gets in front of them.

"He touches the ball and they put him down. It's as simple as that."