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Claudio Ranieri struggling to arrange training amid Watford Covid outbreak

By December 27, 2021No Comments

Claudio Ranieri has had just one training session with his Watford squad in two weeks ahead of the visit of West Ham on Tuesday.

The Hornets have not taken the field since a 2-1 defeat at Brentford on December 10 following a Covid-19 outbreak at the club.

Watford have since had matches against Burnley, Crystal Palace and Wolves postponed due to a lack of numbers and Ranieri has found organising training a tough proposition.

“I have just today (had) the first training session all together, it’s not easy,” Ranieri said on Monday morning.

“Fortunately today arrived all my players together and that is very, very important and I have just the injured players and it’s a bad moment now.

“It’s a bad moment because the players can’t train properly and I hope nobody suffers some injuries because you know when they don’t train and they arrive at the end (of the game) it is very difficult to play but that’s it.”

As the pandemic continues to impact football, both Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp have discussed concerns over signing players not vaccinated against coronavirus, and Ranieri agrees with the pair.

When asked if he agreed with the Liverpool boss over the significance of a potential signing’s vaccination status, the Italian said: “Yes, I think we have to think about this.

“There is another problem and if you are vaccinated, if you get Covid it is just for little things, without vaccination you have to stay at home a long time without training and it is important to understand if these players are vaccinated.”

On the field, Tuesday’s opponents West Ham have just one win from their last eight matches after an impressive start to the season, but Ranieri remained cautious when asked if it was the right time to play the Hammers.

“It’s a very big challenge against West Ham, West Ham is a good team, they play very well, (David) Moyes is doing a fantastic job,” the Hornets boss said.

“They are solid and up front they have very good players and we have to change our way because it is not possible to continue, we are in the relegation battle in the Premier League and we must change something.”

In a boost for Ranieri, Francisco Sierralta has recovered from a hamstring injury sustained last month and is expected to be available but Ben Foster (groin), Ismaila Sarr (knee), Christian Kabasele (calf), Peter Etebo (quad) and Nicolas Nkoulou (hamstring) remain sidelined.