Nigel Pearson has said that Watford hold a "healthy respect" for Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish, but insists he is only interested in his own players.

Grealish will be seen as Villa's danger man when the two sides go head-to-head in the Premier League this evening, with new signing Mbwana Samatta not able to play.

Ahead of the match, Pearson said that the midfielder is someone the Hornets are well aware of, but that his side's performances will be the subject of his focus.

"He is a very important player for them, a very talented player and the club means a lot to him as well," he said.

"We know all of that and we have a very healthy respect for him, but I'm going to concentrate mainly on our own players. I said before the weekend that it's important that you understand who you're going to come up against next and understand how to play, but most important for us is that we continue to improve ourselves as a side and as we've shown in recent games when we've had to defend we've defended very resolutely as a team and that's very important. It's also important for us to continue to create goalscoring opportunities. The game against Villa again will be a similar sort of thing and we're going to have to manage it as it happens. We know Grealish is a very important player for them."

With the Hornets going into tonight's game at Villa Park just one point and one place above their opponents, the result could have an important influence on this season's Premier League relegation battle.

Watford have managed to haul themselves out of the drop zone after falling as many as nine points adrift earlier in the season, but Pearson was once again keen to point out that his side has not achieved anything until they are mathematically safe.

Looking ahead to the end of the season, the head coach said he would be prepared for whatever outcome presents itself, whether that means they are safe on the final day, or left fighting for a vital win.

"Whether it does or doesn't, we can't tell at the moment" he said of the relegation fight going down to the last match.

"But I think you have to be prepared for that and I said right from the start if we get a chance on the last day of the season then that would be something to almost look forward to at that point.

"You have to reassess it as you go and clearly the benefits of getting out of a situation earlier are pretty obvious, but whatever happens you've got to be prepared to to deal with it for the for the duration of the season and that's what it's about, being able to manage the pressure and the expectation and still have a group of players who are able to, when they go on the field, go out and perform to their best."