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Watford manager Roy Hodgson is expected to be at tomorrow’s game but he’s been unwell and his assistant stood in for him at the pre-match press conference.

Lewington explained: “He was unwell last night in the hotel. It’s very unusual for him. We came in this morning together and he said to me ‘I’m feeling quite bad at the moment’ so the doctor saw him and I think really he just needed a rest.

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“He absolutely surely will be there tomorrow, but he just needed a rest. They don’t quite know what’s wrong with him, he’s seeing a couple of people this afternoon. I don’t think it’s anything serious but he just felt genuinely unwell.

“Anyone that knows Roy knows that he puts everything into everything he does. I must admit, I think this is just a one off illness and nothing in reflection on what’s happening here. He’s totally engrossed in whatever he does when it involves football, so I think this is just an unhappy coincidence that it’s actually happened a couple of days before a big match. As I say, I’m sure he’ll be there tomorrow.”

Turning his attentions to the game and Watford’s position, Lewington added: “We look at the table as much as anyone else, but what we don’t want to be seen to be doing is putting negative thoughts in players’ minds.

“We’re positive, we know that we can do it, but talk is very cheap and we need to get out there and do it. And if we can get this all important win at home, then who knows? So with that, we’re still going to be positive.”

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Michael Jackson remains in charge for a fourth game. He won his first two home games last week and said yesterday: “It’s been a good time after the week that we’ve had. We’re focusing on this next game, we’ve learnt from the last one and know what went well as well as what we can improve on. There are certain things that we know we need to get right and if we do get them right, then we give ourselves a better chance of a good performance.

“It’s an experienced group. They’ve come together with what’s happened and have really rallied around each other. We’ve got to keep it that way, the players, the staff and the fans. Nothing comes between that.”

With no midweek game, it’s given the current staff more time with the players and some rest. He added: “It’s been good to have that bit of downtime, a bit of reflection time, and it’s given us a good chance to work with the players who haven’t been involved in all of the games. Those lads have really taken on board and they’ve had a real impact when they’ve come on in games from the bench.”

It’s now game number four and he said: “We approach this as we have done the last three games. We enjoy the challenge and look at how we can improve. There are things in every game that we can do, five or six key areas. We have to focus on those, keep focused and keep everyone aligned in what we’re doing.

“I’m sure we’ll have a good following down there, and it’s just for us about focusing on it, enjoying the challenge but taking it head on.”

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