Adrian Mariappa says Watford’s strength in depth has helped them cope with the injury crisis which has blighted much of their season.

The Hornets have been hit by a seemingly never ending stream of fitness issues throughout the campaign and have often had to make do with the basic essentials.

Defence has been a particular area of concern with Younes Kaboul, Sebastian Prodl, Miguel Britos and Kiko Femenia all spending lengthy spells out.

Mariappa believes the Watford squad is a strong one when fully fit, and says competition for places and a variety of options drives the Hornets on.

“There are so many good centre-halves here and that is the same right the way through the squad. We have a very, very good squad,” he said.

“If someone is not performing or there are injuries there is always someone that can come in. As a player you have to be ready when you get the opportunity to stay in the team.”

Watford’s problems in defensive areas has seen both Javi Gracia and Marco Silva alternate between a back three and four this season.

Centre-back parings have repeatedly been changed as well and it is a situation which could cause unrest for players.

Mariappa insists, however, that he is happy to play in whatever system the head coach opts to employ.

He said: “I try and do my job whether it is as two centre-backs, three or even at right-back. I try and do my best for the team and carry out the gaffer’s game plan as best I can.”