Watford could be given an injury boost for this weekend’s game against Bournemouth, with one of Vladimir Ivic’s long-term injured players potentially returning.

However, the head coach insisted on keeping his cards close to his chest and did not want to let anyone know who the potential returnee is, in case it handed his opponents an advantage.

Speaking ahead of the match Ivic said he could be welcoming someone back into his squad on Saturday, but was reluctant to say any more.

“I believe that we will have the same squad, maybe plus one player from the players who was out from the previous games, maybe one,” he said when asked if there were any updates to his team. “Generally the squad, who played the previous game, the players will be in the next one.

“I want to keep [the name of the potentially returning player] for me. It’s not good to give an answer on this, not for you but for my opponent.”

Despite Ivic’s secrecy, the Hornets are expected to still be missing strikers Troy Deeney and Andre Gray as well as midfielder Will Hughes.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Deeney has been unavailable since the Luton fixture in late September and remains sidelined with a knee issue.

Gray has made progress since suffering a hamstring issue late last season, but is likely to find the fixture comes too soon for his return. Hughes is also closing in on a comeback after a minor operation but is unlikely to be risked with Ivic wanting his players to be 100 per cent before selecting them.

Looking ahead to a busy period, he is expecting for it to be necessary for him to utilise his full squad, in order to keep his players fit and available.

"When you play seven or eight games in three weeks, you need to use all of them," he said. "You need to rest some of them because it's very important now to find the balance to not to push someone who is at the limit and after then stay without him for a period. I don't want that. I'd prefer to have some players who are already 100%, who will be fresh, who can give us what we expect from him than put one player who is tired and to take a risk with him, and then maybe to stay after this game without him for some period.

"This is my philosophy, maybe I'm wrong I don't know, but I will use all of them and they know this."