Miguel Britos has been ruled out of the FA Cup quarter-final tie at Arsenal on Sunday while Jose Manuel Jurado and Craig Cathcart will have a fitness test at the training ground tomorrow, as Quique Sanchez Flores prepares to select a team he wants to do more than just stop Arsenal from playing.
It was decided today Britos will not recover in time from the hamstring injury he picked up at the 11th hour on Saturday and he will play no part whatsoever at the Emirates. Cathcart has been given an extra day to see if he can shake off the calf problem that has ruled him out of the last two games and can partner Sebastian Prodl at the heart of the defence. Sanchez Flores said the medical team will also put Jurado through his paces at the UCL training ground but Troy Deeney seemed resigned to the fact the Spanish playmaker will miss out.
“It looks like he’ll be back for Stoke,” said Deeney about Jurado who last featured against Tottenham Hotspur.
Sanchez Flores did not want to dwell on the absence of Britos, his defensive kingpin, as he wants to transmit positivity ahead of the club’s biggest knockout game in nearly a decade.
“When we lose some player, I want to translate confidence to the player who is going to play,” he said. “I prefer to talk about Prodl, for example.”
What the fans do want the head coach to talk about is will Watford, who are without a goal from one of their own players since Deeney’s 82nd-minute effort at Palace, park the bus at the Emirates and go out with a whimper or will they try and have a calculated crack at the vulnerable, injury-hit hosts?
“The idea is to enjoy the experience,” said Sanchez Flores. “We are one step from doing something really special [playing at Wembley]. The Emirates should be like an amazing party and an amazing experience for us. We have the objective to play like a humble team but not like a small team. This is an amazing opportunity and we must play with a balance between a team who is a serious team and a team who is enjoying the experience.
“I don’t want to think in this kind of match that we need to resist the opponent. We have the idea to be like we were when we played at Old Trafford. We didn’t play like a small team, we created chances, we played football: this is the kind of team I like.”
- Main image by Franziska Empl