Press conferences before games are usually focussed on managers updating on injured players, providing news of any new problems and highlighting anything else that might have an influence on team selection.

There were times last season when the head coaches at the club – particularly Slaven Bilic - could easily fill half an hour just talking about injuries and potential return dates for players.

Today, Valerien Ismael had no injuries and, with the return of Ryan Andrews from suspension, he has been able to prepare for tomorrow’s game at Huddersfield with his entire squad available to him.

When was the last time that happened?!

“Oh, that’s a long, long time ago,” he said, adding: “Actually, having availability over 80% at any time is good because you always tend to have one or two players with something.

“At the minute, touch wood, we are having a great situation. It is more than we could have expected.

“That’s especially the case in the Championship where you face a lot of games in short periods of time.”

It’s worth pointing out the medical team, which often came in for questioning last season when the number of injured players ran into the teens, has not changed.

It’s still the same medical team, but obviously with a different head coach who may be leading them and utilising them in a different way.

“I think it just goes to show the work we have put in with the medical department is very good,” said Ismael.

“The communication between us is good, we trust each other and that has played a big part in us having 100% availability.”

Having a full squad means the head coach will have a strong bench tomorrow. He’s a head coach who regularly goes for groups of substitutions, often at similar times of games.

They have paid off, such as in the win at Swansea, but last week the triple change around the hour mark appeared to have a more positive effect on Millwall than it did the Hornets.

Are the changes pre-planned? If not the actual players, the number and timing of them?

“No, it depends on the game and the performance of the players,” said Ismael.

“We expect a lot from our players and when we feel they are performing well then maybe you make the changers later in the game.

“It depends on your bench: if you see that you have a strong bench then you want to react to situations quickly because of the quality you have.

“Then there is the feeling of each game. You always want to sense things and try to influence them. Sometimes that goes well, but sometimes it doesn’t: maybe you do things too early or too late.

“What is always in our mind with changes is to keep the intensity of the performance at a high level, maintain the quality and try to keep confidence strong.

“You want players to know that at any time they may be called upon to have the chance to have a positive effect on the game.”

While supporters see the same game as the manager and can make their own decisions about who they think is playing well – or not – the staff on the bench have access to what is often referred to as ‘the numbers’: data provided in real time about each player.

“The decisions we make during games are influenced by the data we have, but you have to be careful to use that data depending upon the type of game,” Ismael explained.

“The data for a home game where you are having a lot of possession will be quite different to a game against a possession-based opponent where you are having to do a lot of pressing.

“It depends on how you assess the numbers in each situation, but the numbers are very important for me. When we train during the week we aim for the players to reproduce the numbers we would need from them on a matchday.”

Talking of training, the head coach said it has been a big bonus to spend almost a month with everyone available to train.

“Everyone is available, and everyone is focussed on the performance. We have the mentality and the desire, as well as the passion and belief in ourselves,” he said.

“With the momentum we have just built we want to keep pushing, and we know what we will need to do in order to get a result from the game.

“During the week, with everyone available, you could see the quality we have within the squad. We played 11 v 11 and there was such quality and high intensity.

"We have real competition. Not only do we have every player back and available, but they are all at the same level too.

“Everyone works hard, everyone feels they deserve to be involved, everyone wants to play.

“That means our decision making is more difficult but that is what you want and expect as a manager.

“Every game is a new story, and each player has to confirm their position in the team or on the bench.

“This is now the fourth week we have been able to train with all the players and we can see the difference that makes.”

Among the key work this week has been to look at the goals conceded last week against Millwall, and in particular the second from a corner.

“The goal we conceded on Saturday we saw that players didn’t take up the right positions. We have spoken about that, and the need for focus and concentration when defending our goal,” Ismael said.

“We also cannot allow ourselves to be predictable to our opponents, and that means both defending and attacking set pieces.

“We’ve worked on it, as usual, because we know how important what you do at set pieces is in the Championship.

“They play a massive part, and if you get things right you can gain a lot of points. But we know they can also lose you a lot of points too.”

The Watford boss prefers to utilise a largely zonal marking system at set pieces.

“I have always had a good record of defending set pieces this way, and I will continue to work with the players on that,” he said.

“There are always pros and cons to any way of doing anything. When everything is going right nobody talks about it, when you start conceding goals it’s a topic of discussion.

“Set pieces aren’t just about the initial ball. It’s about the second phase and second contact, and staying concentrated.

“Because if the two goals we conceded against Millwall we have raised the level of our focus even higher to try and be more clinical in our defending.”