Watford keeping injury cards close to chest ahead of Stoke City

Watford’s head coach remained unusually coy over any injury news this morning as he prepares to get his players down off cloud nine for the visit of Stoke City on Saturday.

“Today is not the day to say names but we have two or three players to check tomorrow,” said Quique Sanchez Flores, who is usually forthcoming with an update from the treatment room. “We have to check tomorrow on the recovery of three or four players. Tomorrow we will have news. Some of them will be OK, but maybe we don’t have the full squad. Maybe not all the players are ready.”


Sanchez Flores said one of the doubts is not Jose Manuel Jurado. “He is OK,” reported the head coach.

Odion Ighalo maybe one of those Head of Medical Richard Collinge is treating, as he came off after 82 minutes, but the striker did not seem in too much discomfort when he sprinted onto the field to celebrate with the fans. Miguel Britos is certain to need a fitness test, as the defensive kingpin has missed the last two with a calf problem.

Sanchez Flores is not concerned about the emotional and physical effort Sunday’s monumental effort has taken on his players. He will not use that as an excuse when Mark Hughes’ side come calling.


“I don’t feel worried about the players,” he said. “It is necessary to enjoy this kind of match [against Arsenal], enjoy this kind of experience. After that, when you have a cold mind, you come back to reality and focus on Stoke. I don’t feel afraid about anything. They feel strong, they feel competitive, they have a lot of energy. They know, someday, probably soon, we will add more points. We have nine matches to play and I’m not worried. The players are feeling strong.”

If anything, Sanchez Flores will be hoping the feel-good factor following the win over Arsenal can be transferred into the league, where the form has been patchy of late. A spirited, progressive display at Old Trafford was sandwiched between two lifeless and goalless performances at home to Bournemouth and Leicester City.

“Our mentality is to be competitive,” he said. “We need to improve our own performance and always go to the pitch with the idea of playing better than our last match. We want to add as many points as possible.”