Watford boss Walter Mazzarri looks to the future despite speculation over job
Watford manager Walter Mazzarri is determined his squad will not lose focus over the final few games of the Premier League season as the Italian looks towards the future.
The Hornets have already accrued 40 points and are eight clear of relegation strugglers Swansea, on whom they also hold a match in hand as well as superior goal difference.
Despite appearing to have met his pre-season brief of delivering stability in his first campaign in England, Mazzarri continues to battle against speculation over his future amid reports of an unsettled dressing room.
The former Napoli and Inter boss, though, remains focused on the job in hand, while also keeping a view on how his side could look next season as he prepares for Saturday's trip to Leicester.
"I always find incentives in every game. T here are still four remaining, we will try to play good football and get good results," Mazzarri said.
"The club knows what I have said to them (about next season) and I have a clear idea, but we still have four games to evaluate the team.
"Even though I have a clear idea it is important to see which players will come into the team and give everything to the team."
This time 12 months ago Leicester were celebrating an extraordinary title triumph, but they have struggled to maintain that form this season with Claudio Ranieri replaced as boss by Craig Shakespeare.
Mazzarri believes Watford must prepare themselves for a stern test at the King Power Stadium, with the Foxes having won six out of their past nine league games to pull clear of the survival scrap.
"This (Leicester's struggles) shows the difference in the Premier League, not Leicester. We should compare last year with the whole league," Mazzarri said at a press conference.
"Chelsea this year are first, and where were they last year? Liverpool are third, and what about last year? It is a completely different tournament."
Mazzarri added: "I don't like to compare before Ranieri and after Ranieri. We have to think that in this moment the Leicester results are very similar to the ones they had last year, and so (currently) t hey are one of the strongest teams."
Watford could be stretched in defence, with Jose Holebas facing a late fitness test on his foot problem and Miguel Britos already ruled out after coming off during the first half of Monday's defeat by Liverpool with a leg muscle injury.
With Younes Kaboul and Craig Cathcart both still sidelined, Adrian Mariappa and Christian Kabasele could come into the backline, while 19-year-old full-back Andrew Eleftheriou has also been drafted into the first-team squad.
Mazzarri said: "We will find 11 players no problem and we have plenty to go on the bench."