Head coach Valerien Ismael still harbours no doubts about the depth of his squad after making seven changes and watching his Watford side finish well beaten in their FA Cup replay at Southampton.

With the transfer window shut and the player the Hornets did bring in back at London Colney trying to improve his fitness, there is nothing more that can be done to make the squad any more robust or give Ismael any extra options.

However, when I asked him if he had any doubts about the size of the squad, he maintained that is not the cause of a run of five games without a win, and three without a goal.

“I think we have almost all the squad available at the minute,” he said.

“We took the decision to leave Dennis at home on purpose, so he could have a build-up.

“Ngakia is back in training, Kayembe will be back as well, so actually we will have the full squad available.

“There is nothing wrong with that.

“If we had 10 injured players then I would be on your side and say you were right, but I think it’s more the repetition of the games.

“We have to deal with a very intense period and the stress that brings, especially for our younger players.

“It is a process, we will deal with the situation and now we have another game on Saturday.”

When I put it to him that there seemed to be a clear drop in the intensity in Watford’s play at Southampton, and perhaps over the course of the last couple of games, Ismael said: “Yes there are some signs of a drop in intensity here.

“And that’s why I said to the guys it is easy to push the blame onto the players.

“But at some point I have to look at all the work we have done in the past few weeks, all the games we have faced and three more to come in one week.

“We have to deal with that, and we are not seeking any excuses but it is a fact on the table.

“How we want to play you need that freshness in your mind for your decision making.”

Goalkeeper Dan Bachmann left the field immediately after Southampton’s second goal, meaning Watford had to make s sixth substitution which is permitted when there is a concussion.

“I don’t know exactly but it was to do with his head, and we made a concussion substitute,” said Ismael.

“He had spoken about his head at half-time and said he was ok to continue, but it seems he wasn’t.”