Wes Hoedt has played every single minute of every game in all three competitions this season.

That’s a grand total of 51 hours of football, some 15 hours more than any other player in the Watford squad.

As well as being the captain of the side, he is also the only naturally left-footed central defender, a situation that wasn’t remedied during the recent transfer window.

Can the Dutchman maintain what is an incredible run, or does he run an increased risk of injury or needing a break?

“I have often gone to him and asked him,” said Valerien Ismael.

“I’ve said we’ve had cup games, did he want a break? He always says no, he wants to play.

“I ask my players because I know that I need to manage some players.

“But Wes always wants to play, he wants to be on the pitch, and when he feels strong to play then he has to play.

“He’s an important player for us, and sometimes it can be dangerous if you ‘take the plug out’ and the player misses a game and then has to come back in and find the rhythm.

“He has the right mentality.”

Mentality has been a watchword this season, and Ismael explained that even before he came to Vicarage Road last May he was aware that the club was relying to heavily on a small core of key players.

“We have a new mentality and are going through a transition, and in previous seasons Watford were known for having some good individual players,” he said.

“I managed against Watford and they were not always brilliant, sometimes they were really bad. They just relied on two or three players to make the difference – 1-0 and job done.

“But now the players have to realise those players are no longer here and results are coming more from team spirit.

“So we need everyone, and everyone has to be ready to step up.

“When you have a lot of games then for sure you will be tired and you will look for the other guy. But no, they’re no longer here and you are the guy now.

“Yaser Asprilla, you are only 20 years old but now you are the guy. That takes time. It’s the same with Matheus Martins, Emmanuel Dennis, Ken Sema, Ismael Kone, Giorgi Chakvetadze.

“These players need to learn and grow up into this new role, and understand that now I am the guy that can make the difference.

“For me that is a normal process, but I know sometimes we want to speed up the process to win games.

“The thing is that you always have to find the right balance.”