Injuries are not an excuse - Watford boss Walter Mazzarri
Watford boss Walter Mazzarri insists injuries must not be used as an excuse for his club's recent slide down the Premier League.
The Hornets are in the midst of an injury crisis heading into Saturday's Emirates FA Cup third-round tie against Burton - a situation made worse by the fever that has swept through the squad this week.
Four defeats in five matches have placed the club under pressure, but Mazzarri will not hide behind the circumstances that have thinned his playing options to the bare bones.
"I'm the number one fan of my players and will always take care of them," Mazzarri said.
"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."
Burton are struggling in the Sky Bet Championship, but Mazzarri is still expecting a tough encounter at Vicarage Road.
"First of all we know it will be a difficult game because we know how Championship teams play," he said.
"We saw how difficult it is against lower-level opposition when we faced Gillingham earlier in the season, so we will be ready for what they provide.
"For sure they will give everything they've got tomorrow and will provide us with a difficult test."
Burton boss Nigel Clough will give a late test to defender John Brayford.
Brayford suffered a head injury in the win at Rotherham at the end of December but is expected to be fit to reuturn to the Brewers' back-line.
Ben Turner is not expected to be risked despite making a good recovery from a hamstring strain, while Jackson Irvine (groin) is also out.
Ex-Hornets striker Marvin Sordell is unable to line up against his former club as he is cup-tied.