Nigel Pearson has spoken of his frustration after Watford’s FA Cup replay with Tranmere Rovers was postponed on Tuesday night.

The Hornets are now facing the prospect of playing four games in the space of nine days, should they progress from the re-arranged replay, putting their already stretched squad under further duress.

Pearson and his players had already arrived at their hotel in Liverpool ahead of the third round clash, only to discover that the game was not taking place and the head coach said the League One side could have let them know sooner than they did.

“The postponement the other day was frustrating just because A it was postponed and B I think it should have been before we travelled,” he said.

“To get up there and find their kit man hadn’t bothered setting out their kit because he knew it would be off is a bit of a frustration for us because we travelled up and a lot of our fans had got to Northampton by the time that they found out, so it is a frustration and it adds on to what’s’ already a hectic week next week.

“It will be tough, but first and foremost it’s Saturday and then we’ve a quick turnaround before we play Villa. The planning’s done for the week, but outside of that we’ve got to also be prepared for variables we don’t know about at the minute and that would be potential injuries and anything else and it makes it even clearer that I’m not going to send the strongest side to play Tranmere.”

One player who could be involved at Prenton Park in the replay is Andre Gray, who has been the subject of speculation regarding a possible move to the Championship, with both Leeds United and Nottingham Forest linked with the striker.

However, Pearson has stated that Gray is still a part of his plans for the club and will get opportunities to play again soon.

“I’ve spoken with Andre and he’s very much a part of what we’re trying to do here, so I don’t have a message for anybody else, it’s more for our own players and that is that I’m pretty happy with what we already have, if we add to the squad it will be to strengthen it and the players have responded well over last few weeks, I’m really delighted with how they’ve approached games and training.

“Nobody’s surplus really because we play with one central striker, so it’s never easy to accommodate other central strikers. We play with a 4-3-3 and he’s a player that has proven in previous seasons that he’s capable of scoring goals. He looks good in training at the moment, I’m very pleased with how he’s coped with the situation and when he gets his chance it’s up to him to take it.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s game against Spurs, the head coach knows there is a chance of picking up a win, with the visitors missing their top scorer Harry Kane.

However, he knows that any result will come about as a result of hard work and not through the opposition’s limited resources.

“It’s a possibility [that Watford could win], but we’ve got to be at our best. We’ve got to play with the same energy levels and we’ve got to play smart football. Whenever you play one of the bigger sides in this league, you know that even when they don’t have key players available, they’ve got plenty of quality throughout the squad.

“For me, it’s about us concentrating on our own game plan, making sure we understand what our opponents are about and making sure that we play to as near to our maximum as possible. If we do that, we’ve got a chance.”