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Gianfranco Zola provides Watford injury update ahead of Tottenham clash on Sunday
Watford head coach Gianfranco Zola has confirmed three of the club's new signings missed yesterday's emphatic win over Barnet due to fitness issues.
The Hornets used 22 players during the 8-0 victory, which was held behind-closed-doors at London Colney, but Fitz Hall, Steve Leo Beleck and Matej Vydra were all left out of the team.
Watford had seven different goalscorers yesterday and were 7-0 up by half-time against the League Two side.
Zola said: "I was pleased with not only the goals, because they give everybody confidence, but also with the way the team are accepting the coaching and transforming that into action.
"Sunday against Tottenham will be a big game and I must say that we are in front of where I expected to be at this stage of pre-season. "
On-loan Udinese forward Vydra, who has spent much of pre-season doing fitness work, and Hall have yet to feature for Watford due to fitness issues.
Leo Beleck, who is also contracted to Udinese, played against Cork City last week but was struggling a little yesterday due to the training session the day before.
Zola said: "Leo Beleck was a precaution more than anything because yesterday it was an intense session.
"Vydra is working on an unbalance in the muscle and he is a precaution as well.
"Fitz Hall came in late and he is working on his fitness and he also had a slight problem when we came back from Ireland."
Like Vydra, Stephen McGinn has also spent most of pre-season working on his fitness after a long lay-off with a cruciate knee ligament injury.
McGinn has not played a competitive game for 17 months and Zola is keen to protect the 23-year-old.
He said: "McGinn has been out for a long time and had a major injury and we want to make sure that when he comes back, he will be fit."
Zola confirmed Prince Buaben's fitness level is still lower than most of the squad after injury but the midfielder did play 45 minutes yesterday.
Two other players who have been injured during pre-season are Britt Assombalonga and Connor Smith.
Zola said: "They picked up small injuries and in pre-season you can’t take any risks so they have been recovering and working on slightly smaller workloads, because we don’t want to cause them more damage.
"Also they are younger players so the amount of work they can take on is less."
Watford returned from their pre-season break in Ireland at the weekend and Zola said the squad "worked well" and that the trip was "excellent".
There will be more from Zola in this week's Watford Observer, which is out tomorrow.
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