Orestis Karnezis sleeps well after nightmare start to Watford career

Watford’s Orestis Karnezis is relishing the sense of closure on “one of the worst weeks” of his career that came with his clean sheet in their 1-0 defeat of Everton.

The goalkeeper made his club debut in November when replacing the injured Heurelho Gomes before they led 2-0 at Goodison Park, but was at fault for the hosts’ first goal and contributed to the second as his new team lost 3-2.

That he then struggled in his next appearance for Greece, conceding a penalty in a 4-1 defeat by Croatia, increased his misery and heightened the sense perhaps the finest opportunity of his career was going to waste.

On Saturday at Vicarage Road the 32-year-old Karnezis instead retained his place over the fit-again Gomes having impressed during a recent run in the team while the Brazilian was again out injured.

After contributing to the victory over the opposition that had capitalised on his struggles, he is targeting a permanent transfer from Udinese, who he left during the summer on a season-long loan, and he said: “It was one of my worst weeks. But football is not always with the red carpet.

“When you lose one game, the next two or three days you don’t sleep well all the time. You are thinking all the time about what you have done, what you could have done better to get the points.

“Everybody knows that Heurelho Gomes is very important for this team. He’s had great moments in previous years.

“I am very happy that I have participated in the last matches when we have had some good wins.

“I came here at the last moment from Udinese. I would like to stay.

“I will sleep well (after victory over Everton).”

The visitors’ manager Sam Allardyce was again criticised for his team’s lack of ambition, despite the significant quality they possess and another transfer window in which they spent heavily to recruit Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun.

Despite refusing to take responsibility for their poor performance, he recognised the money Everton have invested means more is expected of them.

“No doubt about that,” the 63-year-old said. “Everton is in an inflated price bracket because everyone knew it had got money to spend so every player they went for ended up at a certain price. If it was Manchester United it would have been even more.

“The players need to be dealing with it more for the money we’ve paid.

“Whatever the rest of the team is or isn’t, without that goalscorer you’re going to struggle more than you did the season before and that’s exactly what we’ve done. This is our 41st game: too many players all at once accumulated together, none of those being a clinical goalscorer, you fall into trouble.

“When I arrived everyone was talking about how we were going to go down.

“We’ve still got the opportunity with 10 games to go to stay in the top half of the table, and then I’d say it’s been a decent season.”

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