Troy Deeney’s future with Watford will not be fully decided until the final moments of the transfer window, according to head coach Vladimir Ivic.

The striker made his first appearance in a Hornets shirt since the club was relegated in last week’s derby win over Luton Town when he came off the bench.

While an injury setback has ruled him out of this week’s trip to Reading, his long term future remains uncertain with the club open to the idea of him potentially leaving.

Nevertheless, Ivic insists that if Deeney is fit and ready to play, he will be captain, despite Tom Cleverley guiding Watford to an unbeaten start to life in the Championship.

“We don’t know until the last minute of the transfer window what’s going to happen,” said the head coach on Deeney's future. “I will speak with the people from the board of the club who work on transfers on who will move, who will come and to be honest nobody of us knows, with some of the players, who will stay or who will move.

“Troy is the club captain. All of us expect it and I’m sure Tom Cleverley expects it. At this moment, Tom is the captain because Troy is out of the team.

“Tom is our captain and I’m sure all the players support him, and the people from the club, because he’s shown his character and all of us know what he can do for the club. He’s a guy who was with us from the first day and worked hard and tried to help me and the other players.”

Looking ahead to this weekend’s game at the Madejski, Ivic wants to improve his side’s attacking play, with his players only scoring twice in their first three games, but the boss is willing to be patient with his younger squad members, including Ismaila Sarr who is available again this weekend.

“This is one part that we want to improve,” he said. “The most difficult thing in football is to score a goal. Everybody works on this to score the goal. We work on our attacking shape, on our attacking moments, but we have a lot of young players, especially in the middle and in the front, who started to play this season for the first time in the Championship.

“They weren’t playing before and they were in the previous season without experience. I said a lot of times I like to play with the young guys and I like to play with the guys who show me their ability and the guys who want to put themselves to the team and want to work for the team. Day-by-day we have to improve our attacking shape and our attacking moments.

“In the last game we created more chances than in the previous two games and we could’ve scored two or three goals more. We missed, but I believe that we worked well. The problem is when you don’t create the chances. If you don’t create the chances, something is wrong.”

As well as improving their skills on the pitch, Ivic believes his squad have improved mentally as well, especially given the tough end to last season.

“It has improved, the mentality of the group,” he said. “It’s not easy when you come into a team that has been relegated from the Premier League and start to work with them. In the beginning of the two weeks, I had 10 or 11 players while in another group I had several players for different reasons.

“My job here is to do my best with the players who want to be here, who want to fight and who want to play.

“A lot of these players have helped me to work together day-by-day and to improve our game day-by-day. A lot of them are positive guys who want to give 100 per cent and who want to win every game.”