Nigel Pearson has insisted that Andre Gray still has a lot to offer Watford, despite not having many opportunities to demonstrate his talents in recent weeks.

The striker has mainly been limited to substitute appearances under the new boss, but failed to find the net in two full FA Cup games against League One side Tranmere Rovers.

Interest from Leeds United during the January transfer window suggested his time at Vicarage Road might be coming to an end, but the Hornets retained his services leaving him to fight for his place once more.

Pearson insists the former Burnley man is a player that can have a positive impact on Watford's season, despite him going through a rough patch at the moment.

"I like him a lot. He's a player who I really value having around the place," he said.

"It's difficult when you play 4-3-3 and you only play with one central striker and we've got a number of central strikers at the club now becoming available. Sometimes opportunities are limited. What I will say about Andre is he's a really popular player amongst the squad, which I always think is a very valuable quality. If his peers like him, then I think that tells you something about the person.

"Like most strikers when you have limited opportunities, it means that you don't get to score goals and as strikers that's how they judge themselves, it makes life sometimes a little bit difficult. Having said all of that, I believe that he can still have a really positive impact for us this season and because of that, he's a player that I'm very pleased to have."

Switching his attention to the game with Everton this afternoon, Pearson said it was a chance for his players to show how well they can deal with a setback. 

Watford had got themselves out of the relegation zone, but were dropped back into it last Tuesday night when they lost at Aston Villa despite leading the game at half-time.

"In all honesty, you're gonna have situations where things don't quite work for you, but you've got to deal with it," said Pearson.

"I can't come in front of you and talk about 'when we have to deal with setbacks we'll have deal with it' and all of a sudden something doesn't go our way and we lose perspective. That's not the case.

"It's just a situation that you have to face up, deal with it and move on because now that's gone. Now it's about what happens. It's not really too much about what's happened before, it's about living and working in the present, it's about affecting what you can now affect. We can't affect the past and because of that I think it's really important that we move on and any lessons that we need to learn from the games, we learn and look forward to the next challenge."