Watford defender Craig Cathcart wants Watford to get off to the best start possible as they look to try and retain their Premier League status.

The Northern Ireland international said the players cannot use the three month absence of football as an excuse for a slow start and wants to see them making the most of each game.

“You can't feel your way in,” Cathcart told the club website.

“We can't worry about the fact it's the first game in nearly three months. We've got to make every game count and start as strong as possible and be as consistent as possible. We are in a mini league down there and we have to continue with the good results and good form we showed under Nigel before lockdown. We picked up some good results, we were definitely more consistent and we need to continue that. We've had a break and now it's time to take that form we showed before into the run-in."

Cathcart believes the Hornets are in good shape going into the restart next weekend and is looking forward to putting himself to the test in a friendly on Saturday at Vicarage Road. He is also planning to use the game to try and get used to the strange feeling of playing in front of no supporters.

“The lads have kept in pretty good shape and made sure they have come back ready,” he said.

“We've had nearly three weeks of good training, we've got a friendly game at the weekend and everything is looking good. We want to be in the best shape possible to get a positive result in that first game.

“It's going to be hard, but we've just got to get on with it. It will be a strange atmosphere for everyone and I know the fans will be disappointed not to be there, but we know everybody is right behind us and will be supporting us from home.”