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Watford boss Sanchez Flores won’t rush Welbeck’s return to first team

Welbeck scored in the Carabao Cup win over Swansea as he continues his comeback from a broken ankle.

Danny Welbeck celebrates his first Watford goal (Nigel French/PA)
Danny Welbeck celebrates his first Watford goal (Nigel French/PA)

By Andy Sims, PA

Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores will ensure Danny Welbeck is fully fit and firing before handing him a regular first-team spot.

Welbeck scored his first Hornets goal in the 2-1 Carabao Cup win over Swansea on Tuesday night.

The former England striker, whose last season at Arsenal ended prematurely due to a broken ankle, has played the full 90 minutes in both of Watford’s cup matches this term but made just two substitute appearances in the Premier League.

“I said two weeks ago we have a plan for him,” said Sanchez Flores. “We are taking care with him and we are very passionate about him coming back to the team.

“I just want the fans to see the good version of Danny, not the kind of Danny who goes to the pitch with some pain. I want Danny 100 per cent so we can enjoy this Danny.”

Welbeck opened his account with a header from Roberto Pereyra’s corner, his first goal in 11 months.

Sam Surridge equalised for the Championship Swans but Pereyra snaffled a late winner to give Sanchez Flores a first win since he returned to the club.

Victory went a small way towards making amends for Saturday’s 8-0 drubbing at Manchester City, but Sanchez Flores knows there is work to be done to turn around their poor start to the season.

“We are really far from where we want,” he added. “Players are playing well and trying to give their best.

“Sometimes we make mistakes but we need to be more compact, to talk more and reduce the space between the lines.

“We need a mini pre-season to prepare the team. We are trying to change things during the season and it’s so tough.

“I don’t think we have a problem with the forwards. Against Arsenal and Swansea we showed we can play well when playing in the last part of the pitch.

“We circulate the ball well, we open the match and we switch sides. The problem is we concede goals. I’m not used to it. We are conceding a lot.”

PA

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