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Watford boss Gianfranco Zola will consider squad rotation at Ipswich Town despite previous defeats
Gianfranco Zola says he will consider making wholesale changes for tomorrow night's game with Ipswich Town despite defeats in the last two games where he significantly rotated his Watford squad.
The Hornets have a large squad and have several players who, although currently out of the team, were first team regulars earlier this season.
Zola decided to rotate his starting line-up against Charlton Athletic on New Year's Day and at Bristol City on January 29 and, on both occasions, Watford suffered defeat when they were expected to win.
When asked whether he is considering making wholesale changes once more, Zola replied: "Yes because it’s very difficult to handle three games in a row so therefore I have to consider it.
"I don’t want to lose players to injuries for a long time and if you play three high intensity games in a week there’s more likelihood that you risk injuries, so I will consider it.
"I’m not sure that I’ll definitely do that but I’ll consider it."
On the difficulties of keeping the large squad happy, Zola added: "It’s not only about that; it’s because when they [the squad members] play they have played well for the team. Alex Geijo has played well for the team, Fernando Forestieri has played well, Jonathan Hogg has played well and Mark Yeates also - to name a few.
"Ok, in the last two games when we have made a lot of changes we have lost but before we’ve made the changes and won the game.
"It is something I’ll consider and as always; I will do the best for the team, that’s for sure. And whether players pick up long-term injuries is one of the factors I have to consider.
"I’ll make my considerations and I will do my best for the team to try to win the game tomorrow."
Two players who certainly won't feature at Portman Road are defenders Fitz Hall and Tommie Hoban. Hoban suffered a recurrence of his Achilles injury and Hall has pulled his hamstring.
Zola said: "Fitz is not ready yet. He’s getting better but he’s not ready.
"It’s a muscle problem; he pulled his hamstring. He shouldn’t be long. It would be reasonable to say he’s not going to be available for this game and the next one."
Joel Ekstrand is available for selection according to Zola and Ikechi Anya's substitution at the weekend was due to cramp and he should be fit enough to play.
Zola said: "Ikechi had cramp. He hadn't played for a long time and he was cramping so we took him off because we didn’t want to risk him. He is available for tomorrow."
"There are no fresh injuries," Zola continued. "We have a few knocks but the players that played in the last game are all available."
Ipswich will be without new signing Anthony Wordsworth, who fractured three vertebrae in his back during his Ipswich debut at the weekend.
Lee Martin has been suffering with a calf problem but he could come back into contention and ex-Watford loanee Michael Chopra will be hoping to start after coming off the bench to score the winner against Blackpool.
Former Hornet Scott Loach had recently regained his place in goal for the Tractor Boys but sprained his thumb and has missed the last two matches.
Loach could be fit enough to return tomorrow night but is unlikely to start with Stephen Henderson conceding one goal in the last two games.