The team coach set off for the south coast this afternoon without Emmanuel Dennis on board, as the forward has stayed at London Colney to train all week.

The loan signing isn’t injured, but instead Valerien Ismael has decided his time would be better spent getting closer to full match fitness.

The travelling party could only have a light session today, have travelled and then have the game tomorrow with most likely a recovery session on Wednesday.

That means, by staying behind, Dennis can have three full days in a bid to be ready for a trio of league games in seven days.

“At the minute he’s not ready to start so that’s why he will be staying here to train, and we will use the week to prepare him more,” the head coach explained.

“He needs training sessions, because we saw in the last game that he is starting to get in the direction we want to see. The spark is starting to be back.

“But you need training sessions. Only training can give him what he needs.

“We’ve got another three games next week and we will need Dennis a lot, so that’s why we used the week to let him work with our staff.”

The Hornets lost at home to Cardiff on Saturday but emerged without any more players in the treatment room.

“The best news to come from the weekend is that nobody is injured,” said Ismael.

“The other good news from the squad is that Jeremy Ngakia trained with the squad this morning.

“Edo Kayembe will be back with the team this midweek also.”

Although this run of six games in 18 days has affected training patterns, Ismael said he didn’t want to use it an excuse.

“We don’t want to use the schedule as an excuse for anything. We know it and we know how we use the group of players,” he said.

“I have almost full availability and every player has started at least one game this season.

“So we have the choice to pick players but when you get tired then take the right and simple decision, don’t lose the ball and have to run more yards to get it back.

“We need to be more mature on the ball.”

The Watford boss described a need for his players to be more ‘nasty’ after Saturday’s lost at Vicarage Road.

“We have no training sessions to fix that at the minute, we can only talk with the players and show them clips of video,” he said.

“It is more about mentality and desire. If you have goals as a player then if you want to reach them at some point you need a different mentality.

“It is all about the duels and doing the basics right in both boxes.

“Our young players now have to understand we don’t want to be nice, but just when you see the moment, shoot.

“I think that we have learned a lot from day one but now we have to do things right, and to learn from Saturday what the right things are.”