Watford striker Troy Deeney says he will be “working his socks off” to avoid being used as a substitute in future games.

The 32-year-old is targeting a return to the Hornets starting XI as soon as possible following an injury since the end of last season.

Deeney did replace Andre Gray in the 74th minute of the team’s win against Coventry City on Saturday and became only the 11th player in the club’s history to reach their 400th appearance.

The club captain said that while the achievement is a “nice milestone”, he does not want to “rack up another 100 sub appearances”.

Speaking to Hive Live, Deeney said: “Four hundred is nice, but with the last two being subs I don’t really want to rack up another 100 sub appearances, so I’m working hard to get back and be in the team.

“But the team’s doing well, we’re winning and that’s all that matters.”

He added: “From the team’s perspective, the manager has obviously had a tough time coming into a situation where the season ended quickly, with myself, Caps and many others linked with moves.

“That didn’t happen, we’re all here, working towards one common goal to get back in the Premier League and [ensuring] when fans can return they can watch Premier League football back at Vicarage Road again. That’s the main aim.

“From a personal perspective I’m good and ready to go. I’ve been as professional as I can be in the situation, worked my socks off and I’m only going to get better with game time. I’m happy but I don’t want to be sitting on the bench for too much longer so I’ve got to work my socks off.”

Speaking about the game on Saturday, Deeney said he “did not want to interrupt the game plan” after a penalty was awarded to the Hornets, which had been taken by Ismaïla Sarr.

He said: “We obviously get our roles and responsibilities before the game and Isma was on penalties, like João was in midweek.

“Just because I came on, I didn’t want to interrupt it and make it about me, I’m just trying to play my part in the team and earn my stripes the right way. I left it how it was, respected the manager’s wishes and obviously we’ve got Isma who is a very talented player and scored the goal.

“It’s not about Troy, it’s about Watford. It’s a question for the manager [who takes the next one]. We’ve got competent players, there are going to be enough opportunities to score goals for all of us, so if that gets Isma up and running and his confidence going then happy days. I’m very confident in my own ability to score goals so I’m not worried if I’m taking penalties or not.”