Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or email us
Watford's Troy Deeney would welcome a new striker at Vicarage Road
Troy Deeney insists he would welcome the competition should Watford decide to sign another striker despite admitting he had to “bide his time and bite his tongue” earlier this season.
Deeney only appeared in the starting line-up five times between the beginning of last season and mid-December and had to wait until Boxing Day for three consecutive starts.
The striking trio of Deeney, Joe Garner and Chris Iwelumo had scored just four goals between them last season before Marvin Sordell was sold to Bolton Wanderers at the end of January.
Many believed the Hornets would need to sign a replacement on loan after Sordell’s departure if they were to remain in the division, with relegation still a threat.
Marcello Trotta was brought in briefly but improved form meant manager Sean Dyche was able to rely on the strikers already at the club – with Deeney finishing the campaign on 12 goals.
The forward spoke to the Watford Observer before heading off for his summer break and when asked whether he was wary of the Hornets signing a replacement for Sordell, he replied: “No. I hope someone does come in as it would be nice to see new faces. If he is a better calibre of player than we have then it is nice to test yourself.
“For me personally, he could bring anybody in but I know what I need to do to be in the team and I aim to come back to pre-season having lost a bit of weight, stronger, faster and be what I am now but five times better. Whoever is in my way is just another challenge to knock out of the way.”
Deeney joined from Walsall on the first day of the 2010/11 campaign, which meant he started the season on the bench behind Danny Graham and Sordell.
The duo’s form meant Deeney made just one start in his first three months at the club and he was often used out wide rather than in his favoured striker’s role.
Even after Graham’s departure, first-team opportunities were hard to come by for Deeney following the arrival of Iwelumo and Garner but he ended the campaign as arguably the club’s first choice striker, having scored nine goals in his last 17 games.
When asked if he was pleased with his season, Deeney admitted: “Yes and no. I would have liked to have been in (the team) from the start of the season but I had to prove I was good enough for the new manager, who had seen a lot of last year which I took for granted. And he brought in big names in Chris and Garns and had to play them because he had to show why he bought them.
“So I had to bite my tongue and bide my time and I finished the season as top goalscorer. So it has been a long year but it has been one where I have become a better man as well because mentally I am now ready for every aspect.”
Deeney said he was not happy with his goal tally for the season as a whole but was pleased he had surpassed his mini target of scoring eight after Sordell left the club.
The 23-year-old’s aim for the 2012/13 campaign is to “start the first game” and then beat his previous career best of 14 goals in a season.
Deeney is currently awaiting sentencing on a charge of affray, with this due to take place on Tuesday. He was unable to talk about the case but was pleased with the supporters’ reaction against Peterborough United, the day after it was disclosed he would stand trial.
He said: “Honestly I would have prefered if it didn’t come out as I am quite a private person in some senses but it came out and the fans have been good with me.
“Maybe if it had come out last year then they wouldn’t have been as good with me but when you score goals it changes perceptions and I just have to get on with it. It is what it is.”