Preview: Ismaël Looks Ahead To Sheffield Wednesday Trip

By: Watford FC Staff

Valérien Ismaël spoke to the media ahead of Watford’s Sky Bet Championship clash against Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow (January 31, 7.45pm KO).

The Head Coach discussed the busy schedule over the next few weeks, what to expect from Sheffield Wednesday, players returning from injury, and if he is expecting movement on Transfer Deadline Day.

Read what he had to say below...

On six games in 17 days:

Now it’s a tough schedule in front of us, not just for one week, but for three weeks. It’s the Christmas period reloaded for us, it’s a challenge and we are focused on the games. We want to take the good energy from the Southampton game that we developed, to put the same into the game tomorrow. We know that it will be another type of game, and we need to adapt. We need the adaptability in all circumstances. We need to make sure we stick together and focus on our game plan.

We will need everyone, everyone will have a part to play, to add their quality to help the team and be successful. We need to remain focused on the game, take the games one by one, focus, and assess the squad after every game to make the right decision for the next game.

On Sheffield Wednesday:

It’s always depending on the opponent. I think that it will be a different game, the pitch will be different, the atmosphere will be different, it’s an away game. We will need to adapt in some circumstances of the game, but the purpose will be the same, same mentality, same desire that we have showed so far. We want to put in another strong performance away from home.

It was the first time they changed [Sheffield Wednesday manager Danny Röhl's first game in charge was Watford earlier this season] so we didn’t know what happened. It was a tough game to prepare for. Since then, we know how they want to play and their philosophy. It will be an intense game; we need to make sure we have the right mentality and are ready to fight. We need to do the basics right and to force our quality. We know we can score at any time, and hopefully we can get the reward we want.

On team news for Sunday:

[Tom] Dele-Bashiru is back. He had a slight issue before the [Southampton] game, so we didn’t want to take any risks with the schedule in front of us. We are still waiting for [Edo] Kayembe and [Jeremy] Ngakia, hopefully they can be back in the next two weeks with us.

On potential transfers:

You never know, anything can happen, but at the minute I am very pleased with our squad, we are more together and getting players back. Some players are really close now with Kayembe and Ngakia coming back as well. At the minute we have almost all of the players available, and I am very happy with the squad. We know where we want to improve our squad, but it has to be the right player. If it is the right player we will do it, if not we don’t need to do anything.

On Emmanuel Dennis:

We said before the game that we used the cup game to assess the players and to give them minutes. It gives us more information about Dennis, his level, and how we have to work with him. It’s about finding the right balance at the minute. We will see throughout the next weeks how we can manage him better.

I’m not worried about his quality; we know that he has the quality. Our job is to make sure that he comes back to his level. We want to help him, and we will do everything we can do to improve him and have success with him. We want him to score goals for us and make our fans happy.

On the team environment:

It’s the mentality to believe in ourselves. Also to take the right decisions, what is more suitable to ourselves and for the team. At some point you find the right formula for the team, and you keep going like that. Then you see that we are still improving, and the players believe more in themselves, the team, and you create that environment. The win is the best thing to cement everything.

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