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Quique: ‘Cathcart, Holebas and Abdi will be fit for Wembley’

Craig Cathcart, Jose Holebas and Almen Abdi will be fit for Watford’s FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace, despite missing the win over West Bromwich Albion.

The trio were absent from the match-day squad against the Baggies, with defenders Cathcart and Holebas suffering from slight knocks while Abdi missed the game due to illness. But their participation in next weekend’s clash at Wembley isn’t under threat, according to Watford head coach Quique Sanchez Flores.

“They didn’t train during the week,” the Spaniard said “It isn’t anything really bad. They simply didn’t train so it was impossible for them to travel with us today and be on the list. They have a week before Wembley and will be OK. They should be ready to train with us again in one or two days.”

Picture by Paul Dawson
Picture by Paul Dawson

That may mean the three players will not be risked against West Ham United on Wednesday evening. Sanchez Flores said prior to Watford’s trip to The Hawthorns he will rotate his side when they travel to east London, something he prepared for by taking Sean Murray on the trip to the Midlands. It was a point he reiterated in his post-match press conference this afternoon.

“I promised all the players before training on Friday that most of them would play over the next two matches,” he said. “I need to know how they all look before the weekend’s match. On Wednesday they know I’ll be making changes.”

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Watford’s win at The Hawthorns makes it easier to sacrifice the chance of claiming victory at West Ham. The Hornets sit on 41 points in the top flight. Mathematically they’re not safe yet but with five games to play, Sanchez Flores side are 11 points clear of the drop zone.

“The target was 40 points and we are on 41 points after 33 matches, it’s amazing,” he said. “The most important thing is the feeling that we haven’t really suffered during the season. We have enjoyed the experience and the journey with the fans. That is the most important thing. I didn’t feel at any moment we suffered. If you’re able to enjoy yourselves in the Premier League then it’s because you’re doing something well.”