Gorman wary of lowly Hornets

WATFORD may be nearer the relegation zone than Town are to the play-off places but John Gorman has warned the rejuvenated Hornets have plenty of sting.

Derek Davis

WATFORD may be nearer the relegation zone than Town are to the play-off places but John Gorman has warned the rejuvenated Hornets have plenty of sting.

Gorman, speaking at the pre-match press conference in the continued absence of Jim Magilton, warned that since Brendan Rodgers had taken over at Vicarage Road they have improved significantly.

Rogers and Gorman know each other from their days at Reading and the Watford boss who took over from Aidy Boothroyd in November has seen his team move away from trouble with 10 wins. 10 losses and four draws, since he took over.

Gorman said: “I know Brendan well. He is very enthusiastic and likes to play good football. He has a good reputation and has had the backing of Jose Mourinho so it is pleasing to see him get his chance at Watford.

“Bryan was very impressed with Watford at Cardiff. They played well and were unlucky with a penalty that came late in the game. We won't be underestimating them, that is for sure.

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“They have done very well since they had the change of manager and have had some very positive results.”

Gorman admitted there was a temptation to admit the play-offs were beyond Town's reach but refuses to give up hope.

He said: “It is almost worth saying it is all finished with and let us just enjoy the rest of the games and see where that takes us. But the reality is we are hoping every win you get takes you closer because very team can drop points. Seven points seems a lot of points but is it? “It is just two wins and draw and another team can get on a nervy run and not win three games.

“Just when it looks like it is another disappointment you get another chance. It would be nice to have more games but the reality is we have seven left and we have to try and win every single game. But everyone else is doing the same thing.”

After a cracking game against Burnley on Tuesday that ended in a draw, Town will be forced to make at least one change with Luciano Civelli out for the rest of the season with knee ligament damage but Gorman knows they have a few selection dilemmas.

He said: “Alan Quinn has a good chance of being involved. He just needed a rest but does combine well with Tommy Miller.

“It is the same with Pim. He was unlucky to be left out after doing so well at Wolves and Reading but we just felt Ivan is a quality player and we brought him back.

“We need them all and we are constantly discussing the best team to put out.”

The left-footed Mexican striker Giovani Dos Santos could be an obvious choice to go wide in place of Civelli but Gorman said that is not a given.

He added: “Dos Santos prefers to be on the right side of the area but we will put him where best suits the team. He did well playing off the front two so we will have a look.”

Also in with a chance according to Gorman is Macedonian international Veliche Shumulikoski who is frustrated at being frozen out.

Gorman said: “Shumi is back training and is in with a chance. Watford have not really come in for him and we will not be letting him go to Preston who are a rival for the play-off places.

“He may have said a couple of things last week but he meant no harm. He is a good lad who just wants to play football.

“There are no grudges held. He and Jim get on fine.”

Town physio Matt Byard continues to be busy but Gorman insists it is not all bad news.

Gorman said: “Once the full extent of the injury is known we will allow Luca to go home to Argentina to be with his family for the initial part of his recovery. After that he faces a lot of hard work to come back.”

Town will also be without long term casualties Jon Walters and Moritz Volz, although there is a glimmer of hope for both.

Gorman said: “Jon is very positive and a quick healer. There is even a chance he could get a game or two by the end of the season but we will see. Moritz is back jogging and on the training ground again.”

Ipswich Town: R Wright, Bailkowski, D Wright, Thatcher, Bruce, McAuley, Balkestein, Campo, Miller, Quinn, Norris, Haynes, Dos Santos, Lisbie, Stead, Counago.

Watford: Loach, Lee, Doyley, De Merit, M Williamson, L Williamson, Hoyte, Parkes, Mariappa, Cork, Cowie, McAnuff, Jenkins, Smith, Priskin, Hoskins, Cauna.