Watford could welcome back Ikechi Anya for Saturday's trip to Derby County and while the Championship play-offs now look out of reach for the Hornets, Beppe Sannino hasn’t given up hope.
The Golden Boys currently sit 12th in the table and, with three matches remaining, are seven points off the top six. It seems unlikely that Watford will end the season in the play-offs but Sannino said the Hornets should not be counted out until it’s mathematically impossible.
“We still have a chance, so we are looking to finish in the top six,” he said. “Of course, if you look at the long vision there are thoughts on next season but we need to finish this season first.”
He continued: “As professionals we have to make sure that the people who pay to watch us are repaid with our best efforts. We will never lack commitment and spirit at Watford.”
Anya has recovered from the Achilles injury which kept him out of the Hornets’ last two games.
The Scottish international missed Saturday’s victory against Ipswich Town and Monday’s defeat at Queens Park Rangers.
However, Sannino confirmed today the 26-year-old is available for selection.
Speaking about Anya, the Hornets boss said: “I’m very happy with Ikechi because he can play in different positions as a wing-back, as a striker and every time I ask him to play in a different position he gives me a very good performance and very good commitment.”
Fernando Forestieri, who has played just 43 minutes of football for Watford since March 11, will miss the game due to a toe injury.
Arsenal loanee Park Chu-Young remains a long-term absentee due to a skin infection on his toe. He has started just one game for the Hornets since joining the club on January 31.
Derby have already secured a place in the Championship play-offs and have won their last four matches.
They’ll provide a stern test for the Hornets and Sannino said he would pleased with an ugly display from his side if it results in victory.
He said: “I’ll let you in on a little secret, I would rather play ugly and win the game. You can be very good, a beautiful team but lose. Nil points.”