Watford midfielder Lewis McGugan denied a first return home to Nottingham Forest

Picture: Holly Cant

Picture: Holly Cant

First published in Latest Sport
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Injury means Lewis McGugan will be denied a playing return to the ground which he called home for a decade tomorrow night.

McGugan will not be in Watford's squad for the trip to Nottingham Forest's City Ground due to the thigh injury he picked up against Bournemouth 11 days ago.

The 25-year-old was born in Nottingham and came through the Academy system before going on to make 230 appearances for the first team.

The midfielder decided to leave his home-town club in the summer on a free transfer and joined Watford, where he has scored seven goals in 27 appearances.

Holding midfielder Iriney will also miss the game due to a groin injury and defender Essaid Belkalem is the only other confirmed absentee.

Marco Cassetti is fully fit but Mathias Ranegie is still not 100 per cent and is likely to again be on the bench, as is Almen Abdi.

Sannino said: "Cassetti is much fitter than the other two. Ranegie needs to do a bit more and for Almen it is different because it is a different problem and he needs to build his fitness and conditioning.

"Almen is a beautiful player with lots of talent but he has to have a [fitness] base. I am very happy though because he is starting to feel much better about his foot. I am very confident about him."

Watford will welcome back Fitz Hall and Alexander Merkel from suspension and Hector Bellerin is also available after being ineligible for the FA Cup game at the weekend.

All of the Hornets players performed well at Manchester City and when Sannino was asked how difficult it will be to pick his starting XI at Forest considering the displays of those who started at the Etihad Stadium, he replied: "I am not worried about that because my way is to pick the best XI from the training sessions. It is better to have more players to choose from rather than not having enough players.

"Don’t forget we also have a game on Sunday [against Brighton and Hove Albion]."

One of the main positives from Saturday's match was the 3-4-2-1 formation which was used during the opening hour of the contest.

Sannino was asked whether the formation could be utilised again or if it was only used because of the players absent and the fact it was against Manchester City.

He said: "The truth is in the middle, in-between. At the moment we do not have a holding midfielder available and also we were playing against Man City so we had more attacking possibilities, with two quick players. It was something which I thought of.

"We never throw away anything, we always keep the positives from performances."

Comments (13)

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6:15pm Wed 29 Jan 14

babyhornet says...

Good! The team doeas not need him. We have been better off without him. Murray, Abdi, Merkle, Battochio are all much better than him!
Good! The team doeas not need him. We have been better off without him. Murray, Abdi, Merkle, Battochio are all much better than him! babyhornet
  • Score: -30

7:10pm Wed 29 Jan 14

gloryhornet4 says...

babyhornet wrote:
Good! The team doeas not need him. We have been better off without him. Murray, Abdi, Merkle, Battochio are all much better than him!
In that dreadful run of home defeats which may not be over I think we were all bored sh1tle55 watching McG shoot wide time after time. The edge of the box free kicks that a minute later would be - wide or over the bar.

Is it deliberate?
[quote][p][bold]babyhornet[/bold] wrote: Good! The team doeas not need him. We have been better off without him. Murray, Abdi, Merkle, Battochio are all much better than him![/p][/quote]In that dreadful run of home defeats which may not be over I think we were all bored sh1tle55 watching McG shoot wide time after time. The edge of the box free kicks that a minute later would be - wide or over the bar. Is it deliberate? gloryhornet4
  • Score: -15

7:12pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Travelling Hornet says...

Good, what we gain by him not playing far outweighs what he gives us.the bottom line is our league position , he is a talented player but just not dynamic enough for us, also the play breaks down with him . I counted 9 times against Bournemouth where he either lost the ball or misplaced passes, plus he's greedy and hogs all the free kicks & corners ( never clears the first man) this must have an effect on team morale.
Overall he's a negative influence.
Good, what we gain by him not playing far outweighs what he gives us.the bottom line is our league position , he is a talented player but just not dynamic enough for us, also the play breaks down with him . I counted 9 times against Bournemouth where he either lost the ball or misplaced passes, plus he's greedy and hogs all the free kicks & corners ( never clears the first man) this must have an effect on team morale. Overall he's a negative influence. Travelling Hornet
  • Score: 5

8:54pm Wed 29 Jan 14

VOReason says...

babyhornet wrote:
Good! The team doeas not need him. We have been better off without him. Murray, Abdi, Merkle, Battochio are all much better than him!
Not happy he is injured but do preger our other more mobile hardworking options

On that note I would never wish injury on anyone but sods law aguero did not make it to half time today having played so well saturday?
[quote][p][bold]babyhornet[/bold] wrote: Good! The team doeas not need him. We have been better off without him. Murray, Abdi, Merkle, Battochio are all much better than him![/p][/quote]Not happy he is injured but do preger our other more mobile hardworking options On that note I would never wish injury on anyone but sods law aguero did not make it to half time today having played so well saturday? VOReason
  • Score: 3

9:02am Thu 30 Jan 14

Harry's Bar says...

For me McGugan epitomises everything that went wrong earlier this season. Self centered poser who's only real interest is scoring wonder goals.
For me McGugan epitomises everything that went wrong earlier this season. Self centered poser who's only real interest is scoring wonder goals. Harry's Bar
  • Score: 1

10:18am Thu 30 Jan 14

bristol hornet says...

Cannot understand all of this criticism of a midfielder who is our second top scorer!

I know he can be annoying at times, and wastes a lot of free kicks, but we are not getting many goals from the midfield, so please be a little more generous towards him. Some of you are so quick to criticise.

As for tonight, I would give the same eleven who started at Man City a vote of confidence and play an unchanged team with a very strong looking bench.
Cannot understand all of this criticism of a midfielder who is our second top scorer! I know he can be annoying at times, and wastes a lot of free kicks, but we are not getting many goals from the midfield, so please be a little more generous towards him. Some of you are so quick to criticise. As for tonight, I would give the same eleven who started at Man City a vote of confidence and play an unchanged team with a very strong looking bench. bristol hornet
  • Score: 4

10:50am Thu 30 Jan 14

Harry's Bar says...

bristol hornet wrote:
Cannot understand all of this criticism of a midfielder who is our second top scorer!

I know he can be annoying at times, and wastes a lot of free kicks, but we are not getting many goals from the midfield, so please be a little more generous towards him. Some of you are so quick to criticise.

As for tonight, I would give the same eleven who started at Man City a vote of confidence and play an unchanged team with a very strong looking bench.
I think Hall and Merkel will come in.
[quote][p][bold]bristol hornet[/bold] wrote: Cannot understand all of this criticism of a midfielder who is our second top scorer! I know he can be annoying at times, and wastes a lot of free kicks, but we are not getting many goals from the midfield, so please be a little more generous towards him. Some of you are so quick to criticise. As for tonight, I would give the same eleven who started at Man City a vote of confidence and play an unchanged team with a very strong looking bench.[/p][/quote]I think Hall and Merkel will come in. Harry's Bar
  • Score: 0

11:22am Thu 30 Jan 14

Kismet110 says...

I don't like being critical of our players but this one really gets to me.

Young and talented with a great shot in him but also slow, lazy, dead ball delivery has become almost non-existent and a bottle job - he has averaged just over ONE tackle per game which for a Championship midfielder that is shocking.

We played brilliantly for 60 minutes away to the best team in Europe currently, no coincidence that he wasn't playing.

As for his goals, aside from the one vs Brizzle when did he score the other six? An age ago.

We have Merkel, Abdi, Murray & Battochio as AMFs and now Iriney + Tozser as DMFs (albeit one is injured & the other not match fit) but I can see McGugan getting straight back in the starting 11 for some inexplicable reason so maybe there is something in him we're missing?

Love to be proved wrong about him but the majority of Forest fan said the above about him and weren't too sad to see him go.
I don't like being critical of our players but this one really gets to me. Young and talented with a great shot in him but also slow, lazy, dead ball delivery has become almost non-existent and a bottle job - he has averaged just over ONE tackle per game which for a Championship midfielder that is shocking. We played brilliantly for 60 minutes away to the best team in Europe currently, no coincidence that he wasn't playing. As for his goals, aside from the one vs Brizzle when did he score the other six? An age ago. We have Merkel, Abdi, Murray & Battochio as AMFs and now Iriney + Tozser as DMFs (albeit one is injured & the other not match fit) but I can see McGugan getting straight back in the starting 11 for some inexplicable reason so maybe there is something in him we're missing? Love to be proved wrong about him but the majority of Forest fan said the above about him and weren't too sad to see him go. Kismet110
  • Score: 4

12:14pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Nick El Greco says...

bristol hornet wrote:
Cannot understand all of this criticism of a midfielder who is our second top scorer!

I know he can be annoying at times, and wastes a lot of free kicks, but we are not getting many goals from the midfield, so please be a little more generous towards him. Some of you are so quick to criticise.

As for tonight, I would give the same eleven who started at Man City a vote of confidence and play an unchanged team with a very strong looking bench.
None of this is new, he was exactly the same at Forest. The man has talent but he has neither the desire, hunger nor attitude to make the most of it. It will take a miracle for McGoo to ever become the player he could be, Sad when you look at players who give it their all despite not being born with his ability
[quote][p][bold]bristol hornet[/bold] wrote: Cannot understand all of this criticism of a midfielder who is our second top scorer! I know he can be annoying at times, and wastes a lot of free kicks, but we are not getting many goals from the midfield, so please be a little more generous towards him. Some of you are so quick to criticise. As for tonight, I would give the same eleven who started at Man City a vote of confidence and play an unchanged team with a very strong looking bench.[/p][/quote]None of this is new, he was exactly the same at Forest. The man has talent but he has neither the desire, hunger nor attitude to make the most of it. It will take a miracle for McGoo to ever become the player he could be, Sad when you look at players who give it their all despite not being born with his ability Nick El Greco
  • Score: 3

1:25pm Thu 30 Jan 14

jaemae2 says...

bristol hornet wrote:
Cannot understand all of this criticism of a midfielder who is our second top scorer!

I know he can be annoying at times, and wastes a lot of free kicks, but we are not getting many goals from the midfield, so please be a little more generous towards him. Some of you are so quick to criticise.

As for tonight, I would give the same eleven who started at Man City a vote of confidence and play an unchanged team with a very strong looking bench.
We aren't getting many goals from Strikers and people are idiotically downplaying a goal scoring midfielder.... It's straight mental incompetence. He's not perfect, but I'm not surprised it's the specific posters saying really dumb things...
[quote][p][bold]bristol hornet[/bold] wrote: Cannot understand all of this criticism of a midfielder who is our second top scorer! I know he can be annoying at times, and wastes a lot of free kicks, but we are not getting many goals from the midfield, so please be a little more generous towards him. Some of you are so quick to criticise. As for tonight, I would give the same eleven who started at Man City a vote of confidence and play an unchanged team with a very strong looking bench.[/p][/quote]We aren't getting many goals from Strikers and people are idiotically downplaying a goal scoring midfielder.... It's straight mental incompetence. He's not perfect, but I'm not surprised it's the specific posters saying really dumb things... jaemae2
  • Score: 0

2:09pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Boosey says...

Waste of space and money, sell him unless he decides to put the effort in.
Waste of space and money, sell him unless he decides to put the effort in. Boosey
  • Score: 3

2:32pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Harry's Bar says...

jaemae2 wrote:
bristol hornet wrote:
Cannot understand all of this criticism of a midfielder who is our second top scorer!

I know he can be annoying at times, and wastes a lot of free kicks, but we are not getting many goals from the midfield, so please be a little more generous towards him. Some of you are so quick to criticise.

As for tonight, I would give the same eleven who started at Man City a vote of confidence and play an unchanged team with a very strong looking bench.
We aren't getting many goals from Strikers and people are idiotically downplaying a goal scoring midfielder.... It's straight mental incompetence. He's not perfect, but I'm not surprised it's the specific posters saying really dumb things...
El Greco's got it spot on.

For all McGugan's ability his shots to (non penalty) goals ratio must be about 30 to 1. Add to that his dislike for the physical stuff and the goal scoring midfielder tag is overplayed, idiotic or dumb even.
[quote][p][bold]jaemae2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bristol hornet[/bold] wrote: Cannot understand all of this criticism of a midfielder who is our second top scorer! I know he can be annoying at times, and wastes a lot of free kicks, but we are not getting many goals from the midfield, so please be a little more generous towards him. Some of you are so quick to criticise. As for tonight, I would give the same eleven who started at Man City a vote of confidence and play an unchanged team with a very strong looking bench.[/p][/quote]We aren't getting many goals from Strikers and people are idiotically downplaying a goal scoring midfielder.... It's straight mental incompetence. He's not perfect, but I'm not surprised it's the specific posters saying really dumb things...[/p][/quote]El Greco's got it spot on. For all McGugan's ability his shots to (non penalty) goals ratio must be about 30 to 1. Add to that his dislike for the physical stuff and the goal scoring midfielder tag is overplayed, idiotic or dumb even. Harry's Bar
  • Score: 3

4:36pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Mr Dactyl says...

This is the best bit of news I've heard for ages!!! With a bit of luck he'll be out til June!!! :)
This is the best bit of news I've heard for ages!!! With a bit of luck he'll be out til June!!! :) Mr Dactyl
  • Score: 1

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