Quique Sanchez Flores has seemingly offered Matej Vydra an olive branch to resurrect his Watford career after the Czech Republic international returned to the club’s training ground yesterday for the second time in recent months.
The striker was hammered by some Reading fans and commentators after his lacklustre and profligate showing in the 2-1 defeat against Middlesbrough on Tuesday night. “If he was a dog, he’d be put down,” declared BBC Radio Berkshire’s Tim Dellor.
Vydra was back at the UCL training ground in Bell Lane for treatment on a hamstring problem in February, but returned yesterday and had lunch with the players.
“He was here in the canteen with his teammates yesterday,” Sanchez Flores said. “He isn’t completely happy with his performance at Reading. He said he had scored nine goals and I said that’s ok. But he shook his head and said: ‘I was expecting more’. So he isn’t totally happy but he has still scored some goals.”
Watford signed Vydra, who scored 38 goals in the Championship for them, on a permanent five-year deal in the summer. The executive team envisaged him being part of the Premier League season but Sanchez Flores decided early on that Vydra wasn’t what he wanted and he was loaned out to Reading for the campaign in a deal we exclusively revealed landed Watford a £2.5m loan fee. Some fans feel Vydra was not given a fair crack of the whip.
“The players know I am an honest and fair coach,” Sanchez Flores said. “I don’t lie and I don’t hide anything. If you’re talking with a player face to face, after some time has passed, everything must be clear. My relationship with Vydra is really good.”
Vydra hasn’t pulled up trees at Reading but he still has admirers at Vicarage Road. He will report for pre-season training and we are told the door isn’t closed on him being reintegrated into the first-team squad next season.
“If a player leaves on loan it is always open for them to come back into the team in the future,” Sanchez Flores said. “The club check during the season how these players manage in other teams, then we make a decision.”