Deeney returns to training
Watford captain Troy Deeney’s recovery took a big step forwards on Tuesday as he rejoined first-team training, with fans and players alike hoping that his return to action will be imminent.
The talismanic striker had taken part in the Under-23s training on Sunday morning as a test of his recovery, and having come through that test without any problem or reaction in his knee, he was given the green light to join up with the first-team squad for nearly a full session.
Deeney went through almost three quarters of the training session under the guidance of manager Quique Sánchez Flores and was welcomed back onto the training ground by the rest of the squad.
In fact, it was the first time that he had been able to train fully since the middle of August, and he showed signs of his old sharpness, scoring past both Daniel Bachmann and Heurelho Gomes, running well, and getting involved in tackles and physical contact without any obvious issue.
It is expected that Sánchez Flores will give the media an update on Deeney’s condition in Thursday’s scheduled press conference, as journalists and fans will be keen to know the date of his return.
The Hornets travel to Norwich on Friday night for a vital Premier League game, in which they will be the slight outsiders with sports betting companies.
However, his return to training has already provided benefits, with the experience proving valuable for some of Watford’s younger players, such as Callum Whelan.
Speaking to the official club site, Whelan said that Deeney was a big influence on the training pitch.
“He’s a great player, a great character and it was a great experience. You just raise your standards as you don’t want to leave a pass for him short.
“He speaks so much, talks you through it and that’s the biggest thing you take away from training with him.”
Sam Dalby was another young player pleased to see Deeney’s return and admitted that he had been going to first-team games just to watch Deeney in action.
Dalby also emphasised that Deeney has great attention to detail and offers tips and advice to the young players, which were invaluable to his progression.
Watford will be desperate for Deeney to bring that influence to their Premier League campaign, as they face another tough game in search of their first league win of the season.
Words: Josh Dixon