Watford boss Beppe Sannino stressed speculation over Troy Deeney’s future is not the reason he hasn't started the last three friendlies and says yesterday's defeat to Coventry City was the last where all the Hornets players will be used.

The Golden Boys suffered their first pre-season defeat as the Sky Blues completed a 1-0 win at Boreham Wood’s Meadow Park ground thanks to a strike from Marcus Tudgay.

All the available members of the Hornets first-team squad were used during the contest and Deeney was one of seven players brought on at half time.

The striker has been the subject of transfer bids from Premier League sides this summer but Sannino said that did not influence his decision when choosing his starting XI.

“No, no. Absolutely not,” Sannino explained. “Troy played in the second half because all of the players need to play. In the past Troy has played in the first half and today he played in the second. It is normal.”

He added: “For me this match was the last game where I will put on all of my players. It was important [all the players played] because they have worked hard.

“Against Udinese the players will play for almost 90 minutes.”

The Hornets take on Italian side Udinese on Saturday at Vicarage Road. It’s the final warm-up game for Sannino’s side before they start their Championship campaign.

The Watford head coach said the starting XI against the Little Zebras may indicate who begins the opening day clash against Bolton Wanderers on August 9. 

He said: “In this moment, there was one team in the first half and one in the second half. Now I watch all the players and on Saturday you will see on the pitch the team that may start the Championship.”