Watford head coach Nigel Pearson respects the decision of players who are not attending training over coronavirus fears.

Yesterday it was revealed that defender Adrian Mariappa had tested positive for the virus, just two days after captain Troy Deeney stated he would not be attending training due to his concerns.

As well as Mariappa, two members of staff also tested positive for Covid-19, leading to other members of the squad following Deeney's stance of not attending the first phase of training.

Speaking to Sky Sports yesterday, Pearson said he had spoken to those players and that the club were standing by them.

"I spoke to[Deeney] yesterday. He is fine and I know he is in good physical shape," he said.

"I don't want to talk too much about individuals but every player or member of staff that it affects in different ways we have to respects players' views on returning.

"I have spoken to players who have chosen at the moment that that is their stance and we abide with what we have already said to them and we respect their decision."

The Hornets boss went on to say that the club simply wanted to protect their own players and help them prepare for the next phase of training, which is due to be discussed at a Premier League meeting next week.

"One of the key factors in this is there are still a few unanswered questions and why ever there is an element of doubt and players feel that there are too many question marks then we respect their decision," said Pearson.

"Our aim as a football club is to protect our own players and make sure we do what we can to prepare them for what the next stage is, whatever that is."