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Full Time

Silva wants fringe players to show what they can do for injury-hit Hornets

Marco Silva has called for Watford's fringe players to step up and help the club out of their current slump.

The out-of-form Hornets host Leicester on Boxing Day having taken a solitary point from the last 18 available in the Premier League.

Watford have had numerous injury problems in recent weeks which have been compounded by a series of suspensions.

While Marvin Zeegelaar and Abdoulaye Doucoure will return from bans against the Foxes, head coach Silva is still without suspended captain Troy Deeney and injured players Kiko Femenia, Younes Kaboul, Craig Cathcart, Miguel Britos, Will Hughes, Nathaniel Chalobah and Isaac Success.

The long list of absentees has resulted in opportunities for peripheral members of Silva's squad and he is keen for them to seize the initiative.

"In the Premier League we have to work really hard to achieve good results, like we started the season," Silva said.

"Of course, we start to have big problems with some players (injuries and suspensions), we knew before this can happen with our team and in this moment we need to find the solutions.

" Not only for us, I think for every team, if you miss four, five players from your starting XI of course it's different.

"We have 25, 26 players and it's the moment for everyone to play and to show his quality as well."

Silva's selection problems were highlighted during Saturday's 1-0 loss at Brighton when he handed midfielder Ben Watson his first Premier League start since May 2016 and named Molla Wague, Jerome Sinclair, Stefano Okaka and Michael Folivi - who had made a combined total of four league appearances this season - on the bench.

The Portuguese insists his squad must remain united to turn their form around.

"Of course, nobody is happy in this moment. When you win your face is different to when you didn't achieve a good result," he added.

"Like you imagine, in this moment our face in the dressing room is not the best but it's the football.

"Our obligation as a team is to keep all together. I believe and I hope and I'm sure we'll continue all together to change the situation."

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