Watford captain John Eustace fit to start against Crystal Palace tonight

Watford captain John Eustace could return against Crystal Palace tonight

Watford captain John Eustace could return against Crystal Palace tonight

First published in Sport Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Group Sports Editor

Malky Mackay has confirmed captain John Eustace is fit to start against Crystal Palace tonight but Watford will be without two of their other “important” midfielders.

Eustace has been out for a month with a calf injury but after being an unused sub in the FA Cup defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, the 31-year-old could start at Vicarage Road tonight.

“John has done great in his rehab work and has trained very hard with Matt Springham, our fitness coach,” Mackay said.

“He joined in the last few days of training last week on Thursday, Friday and over the weekend so he is fit and raring to go.

“I am delighted he is back fit and it will be a bonus to get him back in. He has been an important part of my team in the last 18 months and is one of my leaders.

“He has shown great commitment to our football club and I am delighted to get him back in the squad for Tuesday night.”

The timing of Eustace’s return is another boost for Watford with the skipper’s replacement Ross Jenkins being ruled out of the Palace match.

Jenkins failed a late fitness test prior to Saturday’s game, which meant Piero Mingoia was a late call-up to the starting XI, and the Academy graduate will join Scotland midfielder Don Cowie on the sidelines.

Mackay said: “Don and Ross are the only two injuries but they are important ones because they are both guys who have experience in the division and for the size of our squad, we need everyone fit.

“They are both looking at a couple of weeks. Don is just about ready to start going outside so he is a couple of weeks away and Ross’ injury has just happened so we will have to wait and see what happens with him.”

The absence of Cowie means Tottenham Hotspur loanee Andros Townsend is likely to return on left wing, after being cup tied at the weekend, and should Eustace not start, Manchester United youngster Danny Drinkwater may make his debut.

Watford have been very fortunate with injuries this season but Mackay also believes his medical team deserve credit for the Hornets recent injury record.

“Our medical department have worked wonders this year in terms of keeping our injuries to a minimum,” Mackay said.

“Impact injuries are something which you cannot affect but certainly muscle injuries are things you can help and Richard Collinge, our head of medical, has been fantastic in installing a routine the players have taken on board.

“It has helped the players and you can see that with some of the players who have played a lot of games this year.”

Crystal Palace have the worst away form in the Championship this season but they do have an excellent recent record against Watford, winning the last three.

And under new manager Dougie Freedman, the Eagles have also become more resilient, keeping a clean sheet in their last two games.

“I am absolutely delighted Dougie has been given the chance there,” Mackay said.

“I know Dougie very well, we played against each other for a number of years and were against each other as reserve managers a few years ago.

“He was brought back into the football club again and he is someone who knows the club very well, and the owners feel he is the man who can take Crystal Palace forward.”

Comments (18)

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11:29am Tue 1 Feb 11

Richard - Come On You Golden Boys! says...

Good news. Absolutely vital Eustace plays tonight and stays fit, we never got a grip of midfield on Saturday and were outplayed as a result.

Expect to see a couple of the newcomers in the starting XI tonight also, as we seek to get back on the winning trail.

Come on you Golden Boys!
Good news. Absolutely vital Eustace plays tonight and stays fit, we never got a grip of midfield on Saturday and were outplayed as a result. Expect to see a couple of the newcomers in the starting XI tonight also, as we seek to get back on the winning trail. Come on you Golden Boys! Richard - Come On You Golden Boys!
  • Score: 0

11:39am Tue 1 Feb 11

dukehornet says...

Good to have the Captain back.
We are not the same team without him.
Cowie is a big loss, however, and our worst games of the season have always been when he is missing.
He is like our talisman.
The disruption of losing Taylor and Mutch has not helped either, but at least we have brought in Townsend, Drinkwater and Wiemann (and kept Danny and Loachy), so the transfer window went well all things considered.
Good to have the Captain back. We are not the same team without him. Cowie is a big loss, however, and our worst games of the season have always been when he is missing. He is like our talisman. The disruption of losing Taylor and Mutch has not helped either, but at least we have brought in Townsend, Drinkwater and Wiemann (and kept Danny and Loachy), so the transfer window went well all things considered. dukehornet
  • Score: 0

11:45am Tue 1 Feb 11

Elton Bog says...

Agree Duke - Eustace is not only great at breaking up opposition attacks, putting his foot on the ball and controlling the game, he is also inspirational to the rest of the team - a true captain (should have been given the armband instead of DeMerit last season). Having said that, as proved v Derby and Cardiff, the team seem to be quite good at self motivating these days (what happened against BHA I don't know!)
Agree Duke - Eustace is not only great at breaking up opposition attacks, putting his foot on the ball and controlling the game, he is also inspirational to the rest of the team - a true captain (should have been given the armband instead of DeMerit last season). Having said that, as proved v Derby and Cardiff, the team seem to be quite good at self motivating these days (what happened against BHA I don't know!) Elton Bog
  • Score: 0

12:07pm Tue 1 Feb 11

ET WFC says...

I'd go with this line-up:

Loach
Doyley Marriappa Taylor Hodson
Buckley/Mcginn Eustace Drinkwater Townsend
Sordell Graham

Subs: Gilmartin, Bennett, McGinn/Buckley, Deeney, Weinnan, Witchelow, Aldred
I'd go with this line-up: Loach Doyley Marriappa Taylor Hodson Buckley/Mcginn Eustace Drinkwater Townsend Sordell Graham Subs: Gilmartin, Bennett, McGinn/Buckley, Deeney, Weinnan, Witchelow, Aldred ET WFC
  • Score: 0

12:10pm Tue 1 Feb 11

stuperman says...

TWO "important" players missing. Cowie and who was the other one? Jenkins??? Ooh my aching sides:-)
TWO "important" players missing. Cowie and who was the other one? Jenkins??? Ooh my aching sides:-) stuperman
  • Score: 0

1:14pm Tue 1 Feb 11

Elton Bog says...

stuperman wrote:
TWO "important" players missing. Cowie and who was the other one? Jenkins??? Ooh my aching sides:-)
Cleft.
[quote][p][bold]stuperman[/bold] wrote: TWO "important" players missing. Cowie and who was the other one? Jenkins??? Ooh my aching sides:-)[/p][/quote]Cleft. Elton Bog
  • Score: 0

1:49pm Tue 1 Feb 11

truefan says...

must agree what will we do without jenkins tonight ,he brings so much to the game.I just dont know where the goals will come from tonight with him not playing
must agree what will we do without jenkins tonight ,he brings so much to the game.I just dont know where the goals will come from tonight with him not playing truefan
  • Score: 0

1:56pm Tue 1 Feb 11

stuperman says...

truefan wrote:
must agree what will we do without jenkins tonight ,he brings so much to the game.I just dont know where the goals will come from tonight with him not playing
You're dead right. We'll be relying on Deeney yet again.
[quote][p][bold]truefan[/bold] wrote: must agree what will we do without jenkins tonight ,he brings so much to the game.I just dont know where the goals will come from tonight with him not playing[/p][/quote]You're dead right. We'll be relying on Deeney yet again. stuperman
  • Score: 0

2:29pm Tue 1 Feb 11

not a regular says...

Jenkins will get there. He needs the game time, unfortunately for him Eustace has emerged as one of our most important players.

He was great against Cardiff I felt, although the second goal was indeed mostly his fault. That's not a problem though in my book. He wears the shirt with pride and follows MM's instructions well.

Would he get a game tonight? No. He would have played against Brighton though and I feel he would have made the difference in that tie.
Jenkins will get there. He needs the game time, unfortunately for him Eustace has emerged as one of our most important players. He was great against Cardiff I felt, although the second goal was indeed mostly his fault. That's not a problem though in my book. He wears the shirt with pride and follows MM's instructions well. Would he get a game tonight? No. He would have played against Brighton though and I feel he would have made the difference in that tie. not a regular
  • Score: 0

2:34pm Tue 1 Feb 11

Elton Bog says...

truefan wrote:
must agree what will we do without jenkins tonight ,he brings so much to the game.I just dont know where the goals will come from tonight with him not playing
Another cleft, but this time an ignoranus* who not only fails to punctuate most of his drivel, but gets it spectactularly wrong when he tries.

'truefan' slagging off our own young players brought through the ranks. Nice.

*ignoranus = an idiot who is also an arsehole.
[quote][p][bold]truefan[/bold] wrote: must agree what will we do without jenkins tonight ,he brings so much to the game.I just dont know where the goals will come from tonight with him not playing[/p][/quote]Another cleft, but this time an ignoranus* who not only fails to punctuate most of his drivel, but gets it spectactularly wrong when he tries. 'truefan' slagging off our own young players brought through the ranks. Nice. *ignoranus = an idiot who is also an arsehole. Elton Bog
  • Score: 0

2:44pm Tue 1 Feb 11

stuperman says...

This site seems to be split into two camps (and I don't mean the abusive/rude/ignoran
t and the intelligent), but those who want to see a handily placed team add a bit of experience and push for promotion and those who want us to field loanee kids for four months so that the likes of Birmingham and Middlesborough can benefit from their experience.
Cleverley here, Cork here and at Coventry, even Beckham at Preston. Terrific footballers yes, but you win nothing with them.
This site seems to be split into two camps (and I don't mean the abusive/rude/ignoran t and the intelligent), but those who want to see a handily placed team add a bit of experience and push for promotion and those who want us to field loanee kids for four months so that the likes of Birmingham and Middlesborough can benefit from their experience. Cleverley here, Cork here and at Coventry, even Beckham at Preston. Terrific footballers yes, but you win nothing with them. stuperman
  • Score: 0

3:05pm Tue 1 Feb 11

napoleorn says...

You have failed to mention the third and seemingly your own camp on this site. The staggeringly stupid one.
The reason this club takes players on loan is we can't afford to buy. The reason we take good youngsters on loan is because, and get ready for this one, they are better than old sh$t ones.
You have failed to mention the third and seemingly your own camp on this site. The staggeringly stupid one. The reason this club takes players on loan is we can't afford to buy. The reason we take good youngsters on loan is because, and get ready for this one, they are better than old sh$t ones. napoleorn
  • Score: 0

3:11pm Tue 1 Feb 11

bobbysid says...

I reckon Malky is in the camp that would like to add a bit of experience and push for promotion. Unfortunately, we are lacking funds for both transfer fees and wages. Once Ellington and Sadler are off the books next season hopefully that we free up some for wages, but its gonna stay tight for a few seasons yet (unless takeover happens).
I reckon Malky is in the camp that would like to add a bit of experience and push for promotion. Unfortunately, we are lacking funds for both transfer fees and wages. Once Ellington and Sadler are off the books next season hopefully that we free up some for wages, but its gonna stay tight for a few seasons yet (unless takeover happens). bobbysid
  • Score: 0

3:11pm Tue 1 Feb 11

truefan says...

elton blog or should i say wa@@er.i can have my opinion,instead of slagging me off online,let me know where you are drinking tonight and you can say it to my face you ****.Now get back under your stone and go and watch rugby
elton blog or should i say wa@@er.i can have my opinion,instead of slagging me off online,let me know where you are drinking tonight and you can say it to my face you ****.Now get back under your stone and go and watch rugby truefan
  • Score: 0

3:23pm Tue 1 Feb 11

dukehornet says...

stuperman wrote:
This site seems to be split into two camps (and I don't mean the abusive/rude/ignoran t and the intelligent), but those who want to see a handily placed team add a bit of experience and push for promotion and those who want us to field loanee kids for four months so that the likes of Birmingham and Middlesborough can benefit from their experience. Cleverley here, Cork here and at Coventry, even Beckham at Preston. Terrific footballers yes, but you win nothing with them.
We would not be in the top six (when they left), if it was for the very good assistance from Taylor and Mutch.
Did we not benefit from Cleverley and Lansbury last season?
Some of the football we have seen these past 18 months has been a breath of fresh air after the HOOFBALL of Boofers!
It might well be the same at the end of this season, when we start singing the praises of Townsend, Drinkwater and Weimann.
If we haven't got the money to go out and buy these type of players, let us at least give thanks to the clubs who provide them, and Malky's talent for spotting them, to allow us to see such talent at the Vic.
[quote][p][bold]stuperman[/bold] wrote: This site seems to be split into two camps (and I don't mean the abusive/rude/ignoran t and the intelligent), but those who want to see a handily placed team add a bit of experience and push for promotion and those who want us to field loanee kids for four months so that the likes of Birmingham and Middlesborough can benefit from their experience. Cleverley here, Cork here and at Coventry, even Beckham at Preston. Terrific footballers yes, but you win nothing with them.[/p][/quote]We would not be in the top six (when they left), if it was for the very good assistance from Taylor and Mutch. Did we not benefit from Cleverley and Lansbury last season? Some of the football we have seen these past 18 months has been a breath of fresh air after the HOOFBALL of Boofers! It might well be the same at the end of this season, when we start singing the praises of Townsend, Drinkwater and Weimann. If we haven't got the money to go out and buy these type of players, let us at least give thanks to the clubs who provide them, and Malky's talent for spotting them, to allow us to see such talent at the Vic. dukehornet
  • Score: 0

3:45pm Tue 1 Feb 11

WFC4ever says...

I would agree its important not to totally rely on loan players but we haven't this season apart because our 2 top goalscorers are Watford "players" and the likes of Cowie/McGinn and Eustace have helped our cause alongside Mutch in midfield.

If we had 4/5 loan players doing all the work and the rest nothing I'd be worried and but clearly that isn't the case.

Ok bringing Taylor helped us in the left back role but we still let in silly goals as much as when he isn't here...
I would agree its important not to totally rely on loan players but we haven't this season apart because our 2 top goalscorers are Watford "players" and the likes of Cowie/McGinn and Eustace have helped our cause alongside Mutch in midfield. If we had 4/5 loan players doing all the work and the rest nothing I'd be worried and but clearly that isn't the case. Ok bringing Taylor helped us in the left back role but we still let in silly goals as much as when he isn't here... WFC4ever
  • Score: 0

3:45pm Tue 1 Feb 11

Elton Bog says...

truefan wrote:
elton blog or should i say wa@@er.i can have my opinion,instead of slagging me off online,let me know where you are drinking tonight and you can say it to my face you ****.Now get back under your stone and go and watch rugby
'truefan' slagging off our own young players brought through the ranks. Nice.

Still correct though, is it not? What possible good does it do the club you are truly a fan of? Or do you think Malky doesn't understand how poor a certain young player is and reading your opinion he'll suddenly see the light?

Tell you what, i'll tell you to your face if you wait around after the game to tell young Ross, to his face as he leaves the ground, how sh1t he is.
[quote][p][bold]truefan[/bold] wrote: elton blog or should i say wa@@er.i can have my opinion,instead of slagging me off online,let me know where you are drinking tonight and you can say it to my face you ****.Now get back under your stone and go and watch rugby[/p][/quote]'truefan' slagging off our own young players brought through the ranks. Nice. Still correct though, is it not? What possible good does it do the club you are truly a fan of? Or do you think Malky doesn't understand how poor a certain young player is and reading your opinion he'll suddenly see the light? Tell you what, i'll tell you to your face if you wait around after the game to tell young Ross, to his face as he leaves the ground, how sh1t he is. Elton Bog
  • Score: 0

6:45pm Tue 1 Feb 11

stevemag says...

Elton this site is full of Morons. Take no notice
Elton this site is full of Morons. Take no notice stevemag
  • Score: 0

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