Sunday 21 January 2018

Watford boss Marco Silva rues left-back problems due to Jose Holebas suspension

Watford manager Marco Silva has to find a solution at left-back
Watford manager Marco Silva has to find a solution at left-back

Watford boss Marco Silva admits he has a problem to solve at left-back with Jose Holebas suspended for the clash against Brighton on Saturday.

The Hornets crashed out of the Carabao Cup at home to Bristol City on Tuesday and saw Holebas - the club's only senior left-back - sent off in the second half.

Silva has been in the market for a left-sided full-back since taking over as Watford boss in the summer but has so far been frustrated in his efforts to bolster the ranks.

The Portuguese could hand 19-year-old Brandon Mason, who has made just two Premier League appearances, a start against Brighton but accepts the issue needs to be addressed.

"I think it's clear for everybody," said Silva. "I've said since the first match: it's impossible to prepare for a season with only one left-back.

"It's the same as preparing with four centre-backs or six midfielders - it's normal. The situation with Jose is the same thing. Now we need to find one solution."

To add to Silva's woes, right-back Daryl Janmaat, injured in the opening game of the season against Liverpool, is not expected back until next month.

Silva added: "We have the problem with Janmaat too, so we don't have a lot of solutions at the moment. We'll see what I find."

The Hornets manager gave summer signing Will Hughes a debut against Bristol City and - despite the shock defeat against Sky Bet Championship opposition - he was encouraged by what he saw.

Silva said: "Will works hard every day to understand our ideas and to win his space in the XI.

"He needs to adapt. It's better for him to do this with minutes in matches. He's a young boy and needs time - I'm happy with him though."

Hughes has been kicking his heels since joining from Derby for an undisclosed fee in the summer but intends to kick on at Vicarage Road.

The midfielder told the club's website: "It's nice to get a start and get some minutes under the belt.

"There's mixed emotions because the result is the main thing and that put a dampener on the evening for me.

"It's been a long-time coming. I've been here for a couple of months and to get a start in a competitive game is a nice feeling.

"But at the end of the day we've come here to win the game and haven't succeeded."

Press Association

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