Tom Cleverley has been stepping-up his involvement with the Hornets over the last few weeks; called from the bench for appearances against Cardiff, West Ham and Bournemouth for a total of 52 minutes.
He’s now looking forward to getting even further into the thick of things against Woking in the FA Cup.
Asked if he reckoned he’d be starting come 2pm on Sunday, he said: “I hope so! I think the manager will make a few changes from what’s been a busy spell.
“There’s a lot of players that have played a lot of games, and me not being one of them I’m hopeful to start.
“It’s a real good chance for me to get some good minutes under my belt.”
The FA Cup always brings the hope – for the neutrals – of a big upset in the Third Round. With Watford and Woking five divisions apart, the magnitude of a win for the Cards cannot be underestimated. But Cleverley is not worried about that so long as everyone is at the races at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.
“First of all, your attitude has got to be right,” said the midfielder. “You’ve got to apply yourself properly because I’ve played in a lot of cup games against lower league opposition, and luckily I’ve never had a shock.
“That’s because the team has gone out and applied themselves. Everyone knows if you don’t get out of the blocks fast then it could be a difficult afternoon.”
But how much do the Hornets know about Woking? It’s one thing preparing to face off against a forward you know well enough, like Callum Wilson, but it’s another matter entirely knowing how to stop the Cards’ current top-scorer Max Kretzschmar.
“We’ll look at them on Friday, and we’ll know a lot more after that as I don’t think a lot of the lads would have seen Woking’s games,” said Cleverley.
“From previous experience you’re expecting a passionate crowd, a good atmosphere, and for them to come out quick to be physically at it. We have to match that and then hopefully our quality will show through.”
Cleverley knows a little more than his teammates about Woking, as he has a family connection with Sunday’s opponents. His Great Uncle Reg Stratton played 123 games for Woking and scored 64 goals for the club, making this game even more interesting for the former Manchester United man.
Woking v Watford will be shown live on BT Sport 2 (2pm KO).