First Team 1 month ago

Team News: Leicester City

Hayden Mullins says Troy Deeney is available for tomorrow night’s trip to Leicester City and there are no additions to the injury list ahead of his first game as Interim Head Coach.

“We’ve got no new injuries at the moment so we’re the same as we were at the weekend against Southampton,” said Mullins.

“Troy is fit, he’s trained the last two days and been in with the group. He’s got no issues, so he’s available.

“Craig Dawson is still missing, he hasn’t trained, and [Christian] Kabasele only trained today for the first time so he is another who won’t be available. But it’s the same as before.”

As well as Dawson (head) and Kabasele (hamstring), the injury list includes Daryl Janmaat (knee), Tom Cleverley (heel), Danny Welbeck (hamstring) and Sebastian Prödl (knee).

Mullins has taken first-team training this week along with Graham Stack and says he has been impressed by the attitude and professionalism of the players.

“The players have been absolutely fantastic and the response and how they have reacted has been first class. I just want to say they’ve been excellent, they trained really well yesterday, and they trained well again today,” he said.

“It’s a really good work ethic, the boys are working hard, and they have responded fantastically well. I’m really happy with what we’ve done in the last couple of days and I’m just waiting to see what happens tomorrow.”

Mullins brushed aside any suggestion the players could be distracted by a change of leadership, saying all focus during his two days taking training has been on giving themselves the best chance of picking up a result at Leicester.

“I think the perception of modern players is so wrong, because they’re so professional and so focused. They’re not thinking about the next guy to come in, they’re thinking about Leicester and getting a positive result at Leicester,” said Mullins.

“Honestly, working with them the past couple of days, the professionalism of the players has been first class and the focus and drive is on how they can work together as a side to try to get a result.”

First Team 1 month ago

Quin On Mullins & Stack: “I’m Delighted For Them”

By Kevin Affleck

Watford's Academy chiefs have expressed their delight at the news Hayden Mullins and Graham Stack have been chosen to lead the team against Leicester City tomorrow night.

Mullins, 40, and Stack, 38, were asked to prepare the team for the game at the King Power on the back of their work with the club's table-topping Under-23 side and on the strength of their rich playing careers. Former Crystal Palace, West Ham and Portsmouth midfielder Mullins played more than 600 times in the top two tiers of the English game while Stack had spells at Arsenal, Leeds, Wolves and Millwall.

“I'm delighted for them,” said Barry Quin, the Head of the Academy. “It shows the strength and depth of the coaching staff at the PDP end of the Academy and where we are going. I've been there [as a caretaker] so I know what Hayden will be going through and I just hope he enjoys it. It will be a terrific experience for him.

“Hayden will have the respect of the players as he is a good club man, played at the top level and is an excellent coach. Stacky is exactly the sort of person you want around the place and is a damn good coach.”

Academy Manager Richard Thomas believes the pair could lift spirits and help restore smiles to faces amid this difficult run.

“It's brilliant,” said Thomas. “They are exactly what the lads might need right now. Stacky is 100 miles an hour and will put smiles on people's faces and Hayden is calm. That balance will be good for the players. They can take the pressure off the players and do the little things that can help in this sort of situation.”

Thomas arrived towards the back end of last season and has worked with Quin to help drive the Under-18s and Under-23s to the top of the league, supply players regularly for first-team training and now the promotion of two of their coaches.

“It says lot about what we've got in the building and also what was put in place before I arrived,” said Thomas. “We just need to add to that, build on it and continue this really positive period for the Academy.”