Troy Deeney says Matej Vydra is still the best finisher at the club and that his attitude has been markedly improved since he returned from his loan spell at Reading.
Vydra’s place is under threat with the need to trim the amount of foreign players – and he has been given just 115 out of 540 minutes in pre-season so far. However, the Czech striker has knuckled down, working with Pavel Nedved’s fitness coach long before the players returned for pre-season. He also has major supporters in the boardroom and, crucially, the support of his captain.
“He’s still the best finisher at the club by a mile,” said Deeney in a wide-ranging interview to mark the launch of the club’s new website. “He’s grown up a lot, too. He left to go to West Brom the first time, and it’s the first time ever I snapped in an interview. This guy said: ‘Now Vyds has gone, you are the main man’. I was like: ‘I was the main man anyway’. I shouldn’t have said that. He didn’t score the goals on his own. We did it together.
“He went to West Brom. He had to go and it didn’t work out. He came back, scored 15. It didn’t work again at Reading. We had a chat [when he came back]. [I said] It’s never about your playing ability. Whatever it is you have to sort out, sort it. He’s been top drawer. I can’t speak highly enough of him. We need him, that’s my opinion.
“We loaned him out last year. How nice it would have been [to have him last season off the bench]. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but people don’t see what happens behind closed doors. People don’t see that. The thing with Vyds is that sometimes he sulks. Not now, he’s grown up. There is no point having him out there [when he sulks]. That’s when the arguments happen and eventually I have to get involved. We couldn’t afford to have a bad apple. If you were a bad egg, you had to go. If they weren’t going to be in the team or help the team [then you had to go].”