Rob Edwards quiet on Ismaila Sarr future after forward misses Watford draw

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By Press Association Published: 16 August 2022 - 10.33pm

Watford head coach Rob Edwards admitted he is prepared for “any eventuality” after forward Ismaila Sarr missed the 1-1 draw at Birmingham amid reported interest from Crystal Palace.

Edwards cited a hamstring injury for Sarr’s absence and said he expects the striker to be fit for Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship trip to Preston.

Palace have been linked with Sarr, Newcastle have reportedly made an offer for Joao Pedro while Watford have already sold Emmanuel Dennis to Nottingham Forest.

Edwards is not surprised there is interest in his players, but when asked about the reports of Palace’s interest in Sarr, he said: “I couldn’t comment on that at the moment.

“I don’t know at all. I’ve been out there concentrating on the game so I can’t say anything about that.

“I’m very open – I expected there to be some movement because we’ve got some good players at this club.

“We’re well prepared for any eventuality at the moment. Dennis went and Keinan Davis came in.

“I need to stress that we’re in a really good place at the moment – I feel like we’re in control of everything but there’s going to be speculation.”

Regarding Sarr’s injury, Edwards added: “He was feeling his hamstring at half-time against Burnley and was having treatment then – that’s why he came off.

“I expect him to be right for Preston. It’s not too bad.”

Edwards felt his side were unfortunate not to have won after Ken Sema’s 63rd-minute screamer cancelled out George Hall’s 19th-minute strike.

Vakoun Bayo hit a post and also sent a free header as Watford created the better chances.

“After the performance and the chances we created, I’m a little bit frustrated as well because I felt we could have won,” said Edwards.

“Bayo had a couple of good chances and on another day he might have taken them.

“We had more chances. They were certainly a counter threat and we had to control that – even the throw-in they scored from was the quick, transitional counter-attacking moment.”

Birmingham head coach John Eustace believes 18-year-old England Under-18s international midfielder Hall, who scored on his second start, is destined for the top.

“George has been exceptional since I’ve been here. He’s a top young player and he’s going to have a massive future,” said Eustace.

“He took his goal really well. He was up against fantastic players but he stood up to the plate and I was very pleased for him.

“He’s been brilliant since we came in during pre-season. We’ve given him the confidence that these young players are going to play.”

Eustace was satisfied with a point after Saturday’s defeat at Cardiff.

“I was delighted with the result and the performance,” he added. “I asked for a reaction from Saturday and we certainly got that.

“The lads were outstanding and I was very proud of them.”

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