​Walter Mazzarri has refuted the claim that a host of injuries within his Watford squad is the reason behind the club's terrible form of late, which has left the Hornets in the bottom half of the Premier League table and just seven points off the relegation zone.

As reported by ​ESPN, the Italian manager was quoted as saying: "I'm the number one fan of my players and will always take care of them. I would like not to speak too much about injuries because the players who will go on the pitch are ready and we have to provide the mentality that the players will give everything, especially for the fans.

"I don't want this to be seen as an excuse for any result. We have some players that have had some fever. I am not sure if it is a virus or something that is going around. At the moment I want all the players that are ready together and can play in the best possible way."

Mazzarri was forced to field a weakened side to face Championship opposition Burton Albion in the third round of the Emirates' FA Cup, yet the Hornets progressed through to the next round thanks to a comfortable 2-0 win at Vicarage Road.

The victory ended a run of five games without a win for Mazzari's side but still - he will still be slightly concerned with the last league win coming in early December, a victory which took them to 7th in the Premier League at the time.