Isaac Success is a major doubt for the big kick-off at Southampton on Saturday, confirmed head coach Walter Mazzarri this afternoon.
Success, 20, was the brightest spark on show against Lorient after coming off the bench to replace Craig Cathcart, showing the type of pace and power that prompted Watford to double their record transfer fee to bring him from Granada.
“No,” Mazzarri told us when we asked him if the forward is fit. “Unfortunately, he is the only one from the weekend who has a problem.”
Success’ absence with a leg muscle problem limits Mazzarri’s options in attack and probably rules out the 3-4-3 formation at St Mary’s. Heurelho Gomes, Miguel Britos, Jose Holebas, Etienne Capoue, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney are all certain starters on Saturday. Mazzarri says he knows more of his starting XI than that.
“Honestly, I have one or two doubts [about certain positions] but don’t ask me which,” he said.
Instead we asked him about his tactical flexibility and his preference for playing three at the back.
“I have played 3-5-2, 3-5-1-1, 3-4-3 and 3-4-1-2, as I have shown already in the friendlies,” he said. “For me there is no best system. It depends on the players I have. I see the players I have and then I choose. It is very important for me to teach the models to the players so we can change in the game and be even more unpredictable. On Saturday was an example of changing the model when we changed Success for Cathcart.”