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Nigel Pearson continues FA Cup preparations despite threat of Storm Brendan

Nigel Pearson is not thinking about whether Watford’s FA Cup third-round replay at Tranmere on Tuesday will go ahead and merely focusing on trying to win the tie.

Wind and rain has started to hit parts of the UK as Storm Brendan sweeps in, prompting the Met Office to issue a weather warning.

Liverpool Women play at Tranmere’s Prenton Park and had to postpone Sunday’s Women’s Super League game with Manchester United due to a waterlogged pitch, which led to concerns Tuesday’s FA Cup tie may not go ahead.

But Pearson said: “I know you are speculating about the game going ahead, but that is not for us to think about. For us we travel, we play and we try to win. If the game is in doubt, I can’t do anything about that.”

For the original fixture, the Hornets head coach made nine changes to his starting XI with various first-team players like Ben Foster, Etienne Capoue, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Gerard Deulofeu and Troy Deeney not involved.

It will be a similar story up in Merseyside with goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann, Domingos Quina, Tom Dele-Bashiru, Isaac Success and Andre Gray expected to start the replay with the challenge of finishing the job after a 3-3 draw on January 4.

Pearson added: “It is important the players who do play utilise their opportunity to show what they are capable of because we are going to need everybody.”

Since his arrival at the beginning of December, the former Leicester manager has transformed Watford’s fortunes and Sunday’s 3-0 victory at Bournemouth took them out of the relegation zone.

He is reluctant to get carried away and admitted there is plenty of work still to be done, hence why the FA Cup is not top of his priorities.

“We played Sunday and have a game on Saturday (at Tottenham) so we didn’t want to play the replay on the Wednesday,” Pearson said.

“Unfortunately this is the climate we are working in at the moment and I have to prioritise because of our status in the Premier League being the priority.

“The priority for today is the preparation for tomorrow and we will give the game the respect it deserves, but I can’t say it is the priority because it is not the priority for us.”

Watford have won four of their last five games in the league, but Pearson says the key now is to maintain that level moving forward.

He added: “We can have a positive outlook but we have to show intent, desire and application in every single game otherwise the hard work we’ve put in during the first few weeks is in vain.

“We have a difficult job ahead still, but I am also pleased with the squad of players we have. Not just in terms of ability, but the chemistry they have between them and the desire and commitment to change our fortunes.

“That is where we are. We have started to fulfil the potential we have, now the challenge is to maintain that here on in.”

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