Troy Deeney’s resurgent Watford form has been one of the key factors in driving the Hornets up the table.

It is a turn of events which seemed unlikely a little over a month ago, when Deeney looked a shadow of the bullying centre-forward who has dominated defenders down the years.

He was without a goal from open play in the Premier League since April 2017 and rumours he was set to depart Vicarage Road continued to spiral.

Now, though, the Watford skipper has three goals in his last four outings and appears to be back to his confident best.

For Javi Gracia, who deserves credit for restoring Deeney as his main man, the return to form for a player he says never looked liked leaving the club is down to the 29-year-old’s own hard work.

“I do not know if he came close to leaving, but I didn’t feel at any moment that it was a possibility,” Gracia said.

“I think Troy, like the rest of the team in this moment, is working very well and we are receiving the reward of taking points.”

Deeney’s form this season has undoubtedly been impacted by spells out of the starting XI as he battled it out with Andre Gray for the sole striking berth.

It is a situation which was partly of Deeney’s own making as ill-discipline saw him banned for seven matches before Christmas.

The suspensions - one for digging his fingers into Joe Allen’s face and another for a reckless lunge against Huddersfield Town - carried the hallmarks of a frustrated man.

Since Gracia’s return, baring the fortunate escape for a single-figured salute of a celebration against Chelsea, Deeney has played with a smile on his face.

More importantly, perhaps, he has played, missing just a solitary minute in the Premier League since the Spaniard’s arrival.

When quizzed on whether Marco Silva’s appetite for rotation affected Deeney’s game, Gracia remained guarded, instead focusing on what Deeney can offer going forward.

“I don’t know what happened with the squad and all the players in the past. If you say something about the past you are talking about the past, you are talking about different coaches,” he said.

“I think this is not a good attitude. I prefer to think only about the future with Troy and all my players.

“I hope they are at their best and will work better day-by-day to help us achieve all our targets.”

Deeney’s displays over the past two years have of course provided the goals - the currency by which a striker is valued - but it is his all-round game which has impressed.

He has led the line admirably with his hold-up play bringing teammates into the game and offering a focal point in the Watford attack.

The winning goal against West Brom on Saturday continued a remarkable sequence of Deeney scoring in his 50th, 100th, 150th, 200th, 250th and 300th league appearances for the Hornets.