Beppe Sannino recognises Matej Vydra performs better through the middle but stressed he is using pre-season to experiment with the striker on the left.
Vydra has been used wide in a 4-3-3 formation as the Italian head coach tries to develop an alternative system to the 3-5-2 they have used for the last two years.
With Lloyd Dyer joining the club in the summer, and Ikechi Anya also better suited to playing wide in the attacking third, Sannino is keen to work on the 4-3-3 formation during pre-season.
It has resulted in Vydra playing on the left, with captain Troy Deeney through the middle, and the Czech Republic international struggled to influence the game against Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, apart from when he was shifted into the middle momentarily and created the first goal.
“I like some things [with the 4-3-3 formation] but for sure we need time and we need to work,” Sannino said on Tuesday.
“I am assessing each player in each position. I know some players may struggle in a position but I know come the first game of the season that we will have the right players in the right positions.
“We have some big players in certain positions and for example Lloyd Dyer is a player that has to play on the line. Ikechi Anya is a player that plays on the line. And for me, Vydra is a very good player in the box but at the moment I am trying something.
“For some matches I may start with a 3-5-2. At the moment I am looking and trying.”
If Deeney stays then it appears 3-5-2 would be better suited as it would allow the deadly duo to play in their favoured positions, with Dyer also capable of playing as a wing back.
But should Deeney leave the club, then 4-3-3 looks like it would suit the Golden Boys squad, with Dyer, Anya, Fernando Forestieri and Diego Fabbrini dangerous when used wide in an attacking trio. Sean Murray has also impressed there in youth football.
Some managers pick their best players and try to discover a formation which suits. Others will prioritise the system even if it means sacrificing one of their better players.
Sannino said: “I think about the system and the shape. The shape for the Championship is 4-3-3 or 3-5-2 because I look at the players who have different characteristics and players I want to put on the pitch because of their qualities.
“Before you asked me about Vydra and I want to put Vydra in the box but I think that we have the players who are more offensive when played on the line so I am trying to choose which is the better solution.”
Sannino conducted the majority of his interview with the Watford Observer in English. Head of medical Marco Cesarini was still alongside him to help when needed and so was the club’s new full-time English teacher, who has been hired to assist the head coach.
Sannino understood the majority of the questions and answered all bar one in English.
In an age of countless websites and when context can sometimes be lost, it is understandable that Sannino needs to be careful.
“I will always have one person close to me when the journalists ask me about my views of the match,” Sannino said.
“I have been working on my English every day. Sometimes it has been two hours, sometimes it has been an hour and sometimes it has been five minutes because we went on pre-season and my head was focused on working with my players. We needed to work hard and we needed to relax and sleep as well because two intense sessions a day makes you tired.
“But I think my English is getting better with every day.”
Sannino explained how he finds it harder to conduct interviews than he does hosting two intense, sometimes tactical, sessions a day. The language of football is easier to explain.
The 57-year-old is a charismatic individual and you would struggle to find a journalist who hasn’t warmed to him immediately. His pre and post-interview whistles always receive a chuckle.
But at times it has been hard to portray his personality to readers due to the language barrier.
When asked whether he was looking forward to showing the fans more of his character as his English improves, Sannino replied:
“Sure. Of course. For me it is important to speak with the fans because they have so much passion for this team and it is important that I can speak with them about the match because it is very important that our fans believe in our work.”