Sunday 18 February 2018

Watford striker Stefano Okaka targeting first start against Stoke

Stefano Okaka is targeting a start against Stoke
Stefano Okaka is targeting a start against Stoke

Stefano Okaka is ready to show Watford fans what they have been missing as he targets a first start for the Hornets against Stoke.

The Italy international moved to Vicarage Road in the summer but has been limited to two substitute appearances as Walter Mazzarri's side continue an impressive start to the campaign.

Okaka, 27, made his debut off the bench in the 4-2 win at West Ham in September but injured his hamstring and did not make his comeback until he was introduced late on for captain Troy Deeney in last weekend's victory over Premier League champions Leicester.

While Deeney remains Mazzarri's first-choice frontman, Okaka may see himself promoted ahead of the misfiring Odion Ighalo, who has scored just twice in all competitions so far this season and has been linked with a January move away from the club.

Watford host Stoke on Sunday and sit eighth in the table heading into the weekend, with Okaka hoping to add more minutes and give the home fans a taste of what he can do when fit.

"I feel good now," he told

"I arrived three months ago and I got an injury but now I feel better and I hope I can now start to give my support to the team.

"It was frustrating but it is football, sometimes you can be injured and I was injured against West Ham in my first match but now it is in the past and I'm looking forward to do my best for Watford.

"It is difficult to say how I can play, the fans have to see me for themselves.

"I think I can do something good with my team-mates and my style is to fight and enjoy myself with the ball. I really want to get 100 per cent fit to show myself on the pitch."

Okaka, who joined from Belgian side Anderlecht after a successful season in the Pro League, knows the Premier League offers a different challenge and insists no club can be taken lightly.

"It is good, I have twice been in the team and we won both matches but the league is so strong and a lot of teams are so good," he said.

"We are also a good team and for me we can do something really nice this year and we have to believe in ourselves and keep going like this because in football you never know.

"The difference in the league is that we have a lot of teams at the same level so you can win or lose against everybody. Stoke or Manchester City, for me it is the same, we have to do something good to win every game.

"The name is not important now in football, but the games are important. You can go up the league fast so for us it is really important to do something good because we are frustrated about the result against Liverpool and we don't forget that game."

Press Association

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