First Team 25/10/2018

Team News: Huddersfield Town

Watch Javi Gracia's pre-match press conference above, no sign-up required, or read on below.


By Kevin Affleck

Javi Gracia says he has complete faith in all of his players as he prepares to embrace the difficult challenge of picking the starting XI for the game against Huddersfield on Saturday.

The Head Coach said that although Sebastian Prödl is definitely out and that Troy Deeney and Nathaniel Chalobah have trained away from the main group this week, he will relish the task of deciding whether to stick with the same XI who performed so impressively against Wolverhampton Wanderers or whether to restore the previously suspended José Holebas and Christian Kabasele to the team. 

“I am confident in all of them,” he said. “The problem is to choose only 11. They can know, they can feel that I trust them, that if they don't start, they can do what Andre Gray did. He came on and helped the team a lot. That is the mentality.”

The Head Coach said picking from a large pool of fit and hungry players is not something he will be losing sleep over. It's the prospect of not having enough players to select from that would keep him awake.

“I am in the same situation from the beginning,” Gracia said. “All the players always have played very well in all competitions. In this moment, I always have to choose the first XI but it's not a problem for me – I have different options. The problem for me is to have six players out of the squad, that's the problem. I want all of them ready, all of them fit. It's not a problem to have different options.”

Kabasele will certainly come straight back into the matchday squad as Prödl is out with a leg problem he picked up just 13 minutes after coming on as a substitute against Wolves.

“We have Daryl Janmaat, Tom Cleverley and Sebastian Prödl out of the squad,” confirmed Gracia.

The Head Coach did not definitely rule out Deeney and Chalobah, preferring instead to see how they respond to individual training tomorrow. 

“Troy and Nathaniel are working out of the team on their own,” said Gracia. “We'll see tomorrow if they can help us or not. At this moment they are training out of the team.”

Deeney is struggling with a hamstring problem he picked up in training the week after the Bournemouth game.

“We thought maybe he would be ready for the Wolverhampton game, but at the end he wasn't available and now this week he is working out of the team again,” said Gracia. “He is working and we'll see as we have another day.”

Chalobah is working hard to recover from a knee problem he picked up on the fields of the training ground at London Colney after making his debut for England. His knee was put in a brace as a precaution and he was immediately ruled out of the game against Wolves, but Gracia said the injury is not cause for alarm and he does not expect him to be out long term.

“I have doubt [he will be available for this weekend],” he said. “We don't know at this moment if we will arrive or not. In the first training session [after international duty] he felt a little pain in his right knee and a ligament problem. It is a small problem, but I am confident if he is not available for this game, he will be available for the next week or the one after that. It's nothing serious.”

First Team 25/10/2018

Pereyra: “I Am Living In A Great Moment”

By Adam Rowe

Roberto Pereyra was delighted with the Hornets' 2-0 win away at Wolverhampton Wanderers last Saturday. The Golden Boys needed to bounce back after the 4-0 home defeat to Bournemouth and the Watford playmaker was pleased with the team’s preparation for the trip to Molineux.

Speaking to Premier League Productions, Pereyra hailed the work ethic of his fellow players ahead of the game.

“It was hard to digest the defeat to Bournemouth, because we didn't expect that,” said the midfielder. “But after that we prepared for the game against Wolves very well and worked very hard in the week, and we are very happy with the three points.”

Pereyra scored the Hornets’ second goal in the victory last Saturday, as the Golden Boys netted two in 58 seconds to brush their hosts aside. The Argentine’s finish was exceptional but he insisted that it was all about helping the team. The midfielder wants to carry on his brilliant form and challenged his teammates to keep the same level of performance.

“I was just happy for the team because we were playing very well,” said the Argentine. “We just need to keep working hard and try to score as many goals as we can. In this moment we want to keep working even harder and to keep doing well. We hope we keep winning because we are doing really well.”

The Hornets’ top-scorer is into his third season at Vicarage Road and he highlighted how much he is enjoying life at the club. The Argentine suffered a season-ending injury in his first campaign and Pereyra is delighted to be back playing at his best again.

“I am just trying to enjoy this moment with the team,” said Pereyra. “We all know that football is not always like this, so we need to keep scoring goals and try to keep winning matches. When I arrived I was out with various injuries but now I am living in a great moment. I think pre-season has made all the difference, we just need to carry on like this.”

Pereyra was called up by Argentina for the previous international break for the first time in three years and scored in a friendly against Iraq. The midfielder wants to make sure he gets back in the squad and knows his form at Watford is the only way he’ll keep getting noticed.

He said: “I am very proud to represent my country and it is very emotional. I just need to keep up this level, to keep getting call-ups for the national team.”

Huddersfield Town make the trip down to Vicarage Road this Saturday (October 27) and Pereyra wants to carry on from the performance he and his side produced last Saturday. The Hornets lost both home and away to the Terriers last season and will be looking to put that right this time around.

“We are ready for this challenge,” said Watford’s number 37. “It is going to be a tough game because they need the points. But, we are playing at home so we cannot disappoint our fans. We are preparing really well this week.”