Watford boss Beppe Sannino claims he doesn’t currently have a first-choice side and says every player has the potential to be included in the starting XI on the opening day of the Championship season.
The Italian was speaking after the Hornets completed a 5-0 pre-season friendly victory against Conference South side St Albans City.
Ikechi Anya, Mathias Ranegie, an own goal and a Cristian Battocchio brace helped the Golden Boys overcome the Saints at a sweltering Clarence Park.
Sannino used a total of 20 players throughout the contest and some who would be expected to start, such as Troy Deeney, Matej Vydra and Gabriele Angella, did not begin the contest.
The Italian head coach believes it is important to give everyone a chance to stake a place in the side ahead of the season opener with Bolton Wanderers in two weeks time.
“I had to see different players,” he explained. “Today was the time to see someone like Keith Andrews and see how he can play with the other players.
“All my players are potential players for the starting XI and that is the right thing at this stage. They could all start the first game.”
Ranegie began up front for the Hornets with Vydra and Deeney on the substitute’s bench.
Transfer speculation over Deeney’s future continues to build and when asked if that was why Ranegie led the Hornets attack, Sannino replied: “Today Watford had two teams on the pitch, one in the first half and one in the second half. Both were balanced teams and those who weren’t in the starting XI are not reserves.”
When pressed further on Deeney, the Hornets head coach said he would make no comment and stated questions over the striker’s future would have to be directed to the club.
Watford created a host of chances against the Saints and were sharper with their passing in and around the penalty area than on Thursday night against Boreham Wood.
Sannino was pleased with how his side performed, particularly in the opening period, and added: “This is another step towards the start of the Championship season. We’ve got more minutes into the legs of the players and we are on the right road.”
Tommie Hoban was again deployed at right back and once again impressed. He created the second goal for Ranegie, was comfortable in possession and defended well.
“We are waiting for (Juan Carlos) Paredes but in this moment we’ve played Lloyd Doyley and Tommie Hoban in that position,” Sannino said when asked about Hoban's display.
“It’s important to do that and playing in different positions is good for my players. It gives me and the team more possibilities.”
The Hornets again lined up in a 4-3-3 formation and the Watford head coach emphasised he and his players have worked on two systems, the other being 3-5-2, throughout pre-season.
Sannino said he will choose the formation depending on which one he believes will help win that particular match.