Watford manager Javi Gracia has called on the senior players in his struggling side to step up in the absence of injured skipper Troy Deeney. Deeney underwent knee surgery last week and is set for at least two months on the sidelines.
His absence has been keenly felt by the Hornets, who have lost their opening three Premier League matches and will be out to stop the rot when they travel to Newcastle on Saturday.
But Gracia knows his rock-bottom side will have to learn to cope without him, and quickly, if they are to avoid a battle at the bottom towards the business end of the season.
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“It’s true Troy is very important for us, he’s our captain, but we have other players with experience, with character and we need them in this moment,” Gracia told the club website.
“For that reason I’d like to speak about the team – not one player. We need that solidarity and spirit if we want to achieve things.”
The Hornets head up to the north east this weekend to face a Newcastle side that will be looking to build on a confidence-boosting victory at Tottenham last time out.
Watford themselves claimed a much-needed win when they defeated Coventry 3-0 in the Carabao Cup in midweek but it is points in the Premier League that they need.
Summer signings Danny Welbeck and Ismaila Sarr will be staking their claims for a first league start at St James’ Park after impressing in the win over the Sky Blues.
“These two players need time,” said Gracia. “They need time to show their best quality, their best condition, but in this moment we need all of them. We will see and decide if they start or play some minutes.”
Gracia has already admitted the pressure is on his shoulders to get results, as his side struggle to get back to the level that saw them reach the FA Cup final last season.
The Spanish tactician knows how quickly things can change, and a win on Tyneside could really kick-start the Hornets campaign after what has been a difficult start for the Golden Boys.
A victory against the Magpies would be even more valuable for Gracia considering the level of competition that is to come after the weekend.
Following the trip north, Watford next face Arsenal at Vicarage Road and Premier League champions Manchester City in their next two games.Copyright © 2023 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.