Ross Jenkins and Matty Whichelow are both doubts for Watford’s penultimate home game of the season against Barnsley tomorrow.

Jenkins went off half an hour into the 2-2 draw with Leeds United and Whichelow, who would be one of the midfielder’s possible replacements, was also stretchered off in the Reserves’ 2-2 draw with Stevenage on Tuesday night when Academy striker Dereece Gardner scored two second-half goals to salvage a point.

Manager Malky Mackay said: “Matty Whichelow took a knock in the Reserve game on Tuesday evening and we are looking at him at the moment.

“Tom Aldred also took a knock on his face in the Reserve game and from Saturday, Ross Jenkins hasn’t trained so far this week and has been with the physios, so we will see how he is tomorrow before we make a decision.”

Mackay also confirmed winger Michael Bryan is still not fit enough to return after being out of first-team reckoning since January with an ankle problem.

Mackay said: “Michael Bryan is back training again, we had him involved in the Reserves the other night and he needs to build up his stamina before he’s back in the first-team squad again.”

The Watford Observer understands scholars Gavin Massey and Sean Murray will be involved with the first team in the coming days and one of the pair should be included on the bench against Barnsley. Massey has been on loan with non-league Wealdstone but will be recalled for the weekend.

Mackay refused to accept defeat in Watford’s play-off push after Saturday’s draw at Leeds, despite the gap between the Hornets and sixth place remaining at seven points with only 12 points to play for.

It is agonisingly close at the top and the bottom of the Championship and Mackay believes things should be much clearer after this weekend’s bank holiday double header.

“There are four games to go so I think certainly by the end of Monday the picture is going to be pretty clear for everyone,” Mackay said.

“There are maybe a couple of teams where it will go down to those last two games but by the end of Monday, everybody is going to have a clear picture of where they are. We’ve just got to concentrate on Barnsley, which is in front of us, to start with.”

Barnsley are four places behind Watford in 17th and have won just once in their last six games, and twice in 13.

Mark Robins’ men also have a disappointing away record, with no win in eight and one victory from their last 12 on the road.

The Hornets will have less than two days to recover from the home game with Barnsley as they face a trip to big-spending Leicester City on Monday.

Tenth-place Leicester were taken over by Thai owners last year and have already spent heavily in their bid to gain promotion to the Premier League.

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has brought in a host of Premier League players, including Yakubu, Darius Vassell and Kyle Naughton, but Mackay believes Watford’s ‘togetherness’ can help combat City’s financial power.

Mackay said: “There is obviously investment available over at Leicester so they’ve brought in some serious experience there. We can’t count on being able to bring in experience but what we have got is a great willingness and togetherness and the youngsters bring potential.

“We just have to hope they can fast track their learning. Again at Leeds on Saturday, to go out in front of 30,000 and play in that atmosphere – which as a footballer I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to play in front of that every week – and handle that atmosphere against a really good Leeds team, speaks volumes for them.”