Sean Dyche believes John Eustace’s decision to sign a new contract with Watford is “another sign of intent” from the newly-appointed manager and the club.

The news of Eustace’s two-year extension, which will expire in 2013, would have provided Hornets’ fans with a huge sigh of relief yesterday [Thursday] as the club’s captain has been linked with moves away from Vicarage Road all summer, with Derby County particularly keen to re-sign the midfielder.

“It is another sign of intent from myself and the club to make sure players stay because they are important moving forward,” Dyche said.

“It is fair to say there was other interest in John but he has made the decision to sign a new deal and stay with us which is good for all concerned.”

“There were no bids just interest,” Dyche continued. “We were made aware of it and John was made aware of it but I started speaking to him straight away following my appointment and he made it quite clear that he was happy with my appointment and it was part of his decision to stay, which is great for me as manager and good for him that he wants to be settled and part of the future.”

Eustace, whose previous deal would have expired next summer, is one of just three players over the age of 26 and Dyche believes their experience is crucial in providing the youngsters with the mental and emotional strength needed in the Championship.

Dyche continued: “The biggest thing about players like John is not just looking after others, they are also open minded. John joins in debriefs, he has an eye on coaching in the future, he is always interested in our opinions on the game and he shares his opinion.

“We think big Chris [Iwelumo] will add to that, Martin Taylor, Aidy Mariappa, Lloyd Doyley - these are all important people in the process of developing the youngsters. They don’t develop them in the same way as the coaches but they help with the development by the way they go about their business, the professionalism they show and the way they rub off on the people around the group.”

Dyche has not spoken to Eustace about a coaching role because the midfielder “still has plenty of time to do the business on the pitch” and the manager’s delight at securing Eustace’s services is shared by the players.

Stephen McGinn, who is currently out with a long-term knee injury, said: “John is massive to what we are about as a club, especially having lost a number of key players in the summer and of course the rumours about John leaving. So it is huge to get him signed up.

“Obviously the older players are supposed to help bring us on but not all of them do at some clubs. But John is speaking to you all the time on the pitch and off the pitch.

“He has also been good to me during my injury, always coming over to speak to me and asking how I have been getting on. And on the park, it is clear to anyone watching how much of a leader he is.”