Mackay hoping to add to squad before Norwich City date

Watford manager Malky Mackay still hopes to strengthen his squad before Friday's Championship opener at his former club, Norwich City - but is having to play a waiting game with potential loan signings.

Watford manager Malky Mackay still hopes to strengthen his squad before Friday's Championship opener at his former club, Norwich City - but is having to play a waiting game with potential loan signings.

Although Watford appear to be closing in on one or two more permanent signings, the Hornets' boss would like to bring in as many as four or five new faces and the financial constraints at Vicarage Road mean these additional players will be loans.

Asked whether he hoped to bolster his squad before the trip to Carrow Road (7.45pm), or if he felt it was unlikely, Mackay said: “I certainly wouldn't say it's unlikely.

“There's a lot of phone calls going in, have been going in and will continue to go in this week, but we are a little bit at the behest of Premier League clubs at the moment in terms of a lot of them are just coming back from their foreign visits right now and this 25-man squad thing that they've got to get set and also whether they've got the targets that they want and then they let the youngsters out, as any club would do.


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“They're not doing anything erratic there, it's good business practice, but it means we've got to sit and wait and then you might end up having to compete with someone else if you don't get in quickly, which is what we've done in a lot of cases.

“But that's football, it's the way it is and that's when it maybe comes down to relationships and do clubs trust you? Do clubs trust you to be a team that will develop their player and give them back a better player?

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“That happened last year when we gave the two youngsters (Henri Lansbury and Tom Cleverley) back to Arsenal and Manchester United as under-21 internationals, so we've got to hope that something like that happens again this season with the clubs we're talking to.”

Mackay admitted: “We know exactly where we are in terms of the stability of the football club and the finances,” he said. “We are very restricted financially - more restricted than we were last season - so I know the challenge we've got ahead of us and we are ready to face that challenge.

High-earners - including US World Cup central defender Jay DeMerit and former Chelsea left-back Jon Harley - have been released to ease the pressure, and significant investment on replacements is out of the question.

“We will be a young group, so we will have to work on consistency. Performances can waver with youngsters when you're playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday and that's something we'll have to try to combat on the training pitch week in, week out to keep them not only fit, but as organised as possible.

“I'll be sending a young team out to be competitive in every game to hit our targets. I'm not going to start shouting my mouth off about where we'll end up, but in the Championship every team wants to get to 52 points as early as possible to make sure they stay in the division and we're no different to that.”

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