Javi Gracia hailed the returning Nathaniel Chalobah and Stefano Okaka after Watford eased to a 2-0 Carabao Cup win over Reading.

The duo made their first appearances of the season, with Chalobah starting a game for the first time since fracturing a kneecap in September last year, as Isaac Success and Domingos Quina netted.

Having the players back in the fold only added to Gracia’s delight as Watford booked a place in the third round of the Carabao Cup for the first time since 2014.

“I think he (Chalobah) deserves this game and Stefano Okaka as well because they are players who have had a long period out injured,” Gracia said “It is good for them, good for the team, for me, for the club and the supporters. Today we have good news.

“It was not only a good result to continue in this competition, but we had players after a long period injured like Chalobah and Stefano Okaka back in the team.

Gracia made 11 changes to a starting XI which had previously been untouched this campaign and was rewarded by a committed performance from his fringe players.

The Watford boss was quick to praise those who had come into the team, and admits he has some selection headaches ahead of Watford’s Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

“We have enjoyed playing with players that do not usually play in the Premier League. Today they had the chance to enjoy minutes and I am very happy for all of them,” the Spaniard said.

“It is a difficult situation for me but, as I usually do, I will try to choose the players who are the best option for the next game.

“I know my decisions are not fair with some players because I can only take 18 and I would like to take more players. It is not possible and I know my decisions will be hard but it is my job to do that.”