Mackay puts his faith in young stars

Ex-Canary Malky Mackay will put his faith in youth when Watford begin their Championship campaign at Carrow Road on Friday. The Hornets boss is working against a backdrop of severe financial pressures at Vicarage Road, which surfaced angrily last season when the club was on the verge of administration.

Ex-Canary Malky Mackay will put his faith in youth when Watford begin their Championship campaign at Carrow Road on Friday.

The Hornets boss is working against a backdrop of severe financial pressures at Vicarage Road, which surfaced angrily last season when the club was on the verge of administration.

That fateful move was averted, but Mackay knows the strict regime will have its effect.

“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.”


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Mackay - a popular figure during his six years at Norwich - took Watford to within two points of the play-offs last season, only for the issue to rear its ugly head and for the challenge to fade to a 16th-place finish.

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.

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“We've brought in a couple of youngsters and I hope to bring in more players, but they may have to be loans from some of the bigger clubs,” said Mackay. “That being the case, we might have to wait until those bigger clubs shuffle their packs and decide who they're going to let out. That's not ideal, but it's where we are.

“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.”

The bid to bring in loans has left an optimistic Mackay playing a waiting game.

“I certainly wouldn't say it's unlikely,” he said. “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 Premiership 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.

“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.”

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