First Team 05/04/2018

Team News | Burnley

Watch Gracia's pre-Burnley press conference above - free to view, no sign-up required.

Hornets Head Coach Javi Gracia offered encouraging updates on the players available to him ahead of this Saturday’s fixture with Burnley.

Last week he alluded to the fact that Christian Kabasele was on his way back to fitness and the Spanish coach has now confirmed he has returned to full first-team training.

“Kabasele has been training with the team this week,” said Gracia. “He is in full training. We will see if he is available at the last moment, but he is training with the team and he’s in a good moment.”

Gerard Deulofeu and Nathaniel Chalobah have been sorely missed by the Watford supporters, and when asked whether either would be seen again in a Watford shirt before the end of the season, Gracia was optimistic – he is a glass half-full kind of person.

He said: “I am confident he [Deulofeu] will play with us before we finish the season.

“Chalobah is trying to recover, but in this moment I have no more news about him. He is not training with the team, but he is working in the gym.”

One piece of recent good news was the return of Craig Cathcart as a substitute against Bournemouth last weekend, and the Golden Boys’ boss believes he will be more involved during the end of season run-in.

“Cathcart is available,” said the Head Coach. “I think he is very happy because he is back with the team and he wants to help us in these last six games.”

First Team 05/04/2018

Chalobah | “I Remember Him as A Gentleman”

Nathaniel Chalobah spoke to Ian Bolton of Sky Sports News today about former Watford Assistant Manager Ray Wilkins, who sadly passed away yesterday, and was part of the midfielder's development while at Chelsea.

“I remember him as fun, a gentleman and someone who cared a lot for the young players wherever he worked,” said Chalobah.

“I'm very sad. I remember my first meeting was when I went to train with the first-team at Chelsea and I shook hands with him and Carlo Ancelotti.

“He could tell I was really nervous and he said ‘don't worry, we just want you to come and enjoy training,’ and that made me smile and relax.

“For me, when someone like that puts their arm around you and says don't be nervous and relax, it was pivotal in helping me train with the first-team.

“I knew a little bit about his playing career and he was very smart trying to help the young players at Chelsea.

“When he left he still had conversations with me when I saw him and had time to give me advice, so I was really sad to hear the news.”