Under-23's 26/09/2019

Under-23: “It’s Another Learning Curve”

Hayden Mullins felt his Under-23 side paid the price for not capitalising on a period of first-half dominance as they went down to a 4-1 defeat at home to Wigan Athletic at Vicarage Road.

The stage look set for a fourth straight home win in the Professional Development League when Joseph Hungbo curled in a beauty from distance for his fifth of the season on the half-hour mark.

But Ryan Cassidy hit the top of the bar with a penalty just before that and a couple of other chances went begging, leaving the door ajar for Wigan to firstly equalise before half-time and then pull clear with three goals in 15 second-half minutes, including a hat-trick clincher for Charlie Jolley.

"I'm disappointed with the manner of the goals we conceded," said Mullins. "We were just a bit naive. We had a couple of good chances after going 1-0 up and then started to relax a little bit. If ever there was a lesson that missing chances can come back and bite you then that was it.

"It's another learning curve. The boys know what is required and today was a tough day. They are a good side and we lost our way a bit the longer the game went on. This lot are a good group to work with, though, and they are willing to learn."

Mullins was without the services of Kane Crichlow, the Bermuda youth international, who is set for an extended spell on the sidelines. 

"It's a real unlucky one for him," said Mullins. "He was invited to go and train with the first team on Sunday and he's broken his ankle. It's a big shame for him as he started the season so well. It's a bit of a blow. I think he'll be out for 4-6 months."

Danny Welbeck was the first to check on Crichlow after he went down as he knows all about ankle injuries, while another England international with experience of a major injury went one step further.

"I believe Chalobah is helping Kane with transport in and out of training and asked if he'd like to go and stay with him for a couple of weeks," said Mullins. "That's great for Kane as he's over from Bermuda and Nate recognises he might be a bit lonely right now, so he's invited him to stay with him for a little bit. That's fantastic and a great gesture."

HORNETS: Parkes; Balogun (C), Barrett, Spencer-Adams, Zeegelaar; Hungbo, Whelan, Wise, Bennetts (Trialist 72); Hinds, Cassidy (Hutchinson 80).

Subs not used: Adebiyi, White (GK), Burchell.

First Team 26/09/2019

Team News: Wolverhampton Wanderers

Quique Sánchez Flores has revealed Danny Welbeck is available for this weekend's trip to face Wolverhampton Wanderers after the forward scored his first Hornets goal on Tuesday night.

“He is involved with the squad, he will be in the list,” said Sánchez Flores. “We are taking care about him, we know he hasn’t played too much in the weeks before this match but now the most important thing is his very strong mentality.

“He wants to play, he wants to be involved, he wants to recuperate the best version [of himself]. We try to use all this in a positive way.”

Welbeck has struggled with injuries in recent years, but the Head Coach is pleased with the forward’s progress and is excited to see him return to the levels he was reaching for Arsenal and England.

“When Watford signed this kind of player, they were thinking about his levels two years ago. All we have to do is recuperate his physical health and take care of him,” said Sánchez Flores. “For us, the kind of player he is and the experience, all these things he can give us are very important.”

Craig Cathcart has also been back training with the first team squad this week, having picked up an injury when playing for Northern Ireland earlier this month.

Troy Deeney is the only player definitely unavailable for Sánchez Flores, as he continues to recover from surgery on his knee in August, but the Head Coach knows how important the club captain is to the team even when he is not playing.

“I know Troy Deeney very well and I know what he can do for us, and the connection with him is amazing,” said Sánchez Flores. “He is one of the main players in the squad. He knows this is a difficult period for Watford, so he wants to participate.

“But I want Troy Deeney recuperating well. We are not reliant on Deeney, we lost one player, we need to find solutions with other players. Right now, we are focused on the players we have, who can play.

“He tries to be close, he tries to help, to give information we need, always. These kinds of players, when you have them, transmit good vibes.”