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Gianfranco Zola insists Chris Iwelumo not on his way out of Vicarage Road
Watford manager Gianfranco Zola denies Chris Iwelumo is set to leave the club after the striker’s match-winning strike against Wycombe Wanderers in the Capital One Cup last Saturday.
Iwelumo came off the bench in injury-time to spare the Hornets' blushes as he notched the only goal in their 1-0 victory.
The target-man hasn’t featured regularly during pre-season though, making most of his appearances from the bench.
But Zola insists reports the striker is nearing the exit door are wide of the mark.
He said: “I am totally unaware of that. Upfront, when everybody is fit, there will be a lot of competition but in this team only the ones that deserve to play will play.”
Iwelumo, who signed for Watford in July 2011 for an undisclosed fee, failed to hit form in his first season and was limited to just four goals in his first 38 appearances.
Zola expressed his delight that the striker has opened his account for this season and praised his efforts in training.
He said: “I am very pleased for him because obviously he hasn’t played very much so I can understand what it means to him.
“The best thing is to do what he has done - work hard, and make an impression when he comes on."
Watford have made eight signings so far this summer, including three new strikers - Matej Vydra, Alex Geijo and Steve Leo Beleck.
The Hornets boss suspects though that the club’s transfer activity is now over.
He said: “I think we are nearly there, I am not sure there will be any more signings.”
Despite bringing in eight new faces the Hornets are yet to spend a penny with Manuel Almunia and Fitz Hall arriving on a free, whilst Ikechi Anya, Almen Abdi, Daniel Pudil, Vydra, Geijo and Leo Beleck have all joined on loan .
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