Watford sporting director Cristiano Giaretta believes the Hornets can still win the Championship this season, but said to do so, they need to start playing with greater consistency.

Speaking to Tutto Mercato Web Radio, the Italian said that a lot of work would need to be done off the pitch as well as on it to prevent injuries, but that the recent upturn in form shows they are still in the hunt for an automatic promotion place.

“We had lost some ground, but recently we have regained it. Especially yesterday, at Preston, it’s a win that can give morale to the team, but we hope to be more consistent in the results. In the Championship if you don’t win often you lose contact very soon," he said.

“Playing two games a week you always have to prepare, play and recover. On injury prevention we have a large staff of sports scientists and physiotherapists. A job that is decidedly more complex, but I think there is the potential to try to win this Championship."

Giaretta also spoke about the abilities of some of the players currently performing well within the team.

He started by praising Adam Masina, a player who he predicts will only continue to get better.

“I’m pleased to talk about him because he came back from the injury he had in September, and he did it great," said Giaretta.

“Many players, in delicate roles like that of the left-back, mature later. He’s 26 years old, and he can go back to being that important player we met in Italy.”

Ken Sema and Joao Pedro were both also spoken about during the interview, with the director saying both have the potential to have great careers.

“[Sema] was a winger in the 4-4-2, now that we use the 4-3-3 he’s in the attacking three. He makes an impact, in the last game he scored a brace. He can provide goals and assists, he always knows how to create danger up front. I see him ready for the Premier League.

“I’d say Joao Pedro has considerable potential, and here he is establishing himself. In attack he can occupy any role, both in the centre and wider: he’s flexible and I see him suitable for a top club.”

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Giaretta finished by talking about new signing Achraf Lazaar, who he described as "splendid" but said he may have some mental blocks to overcome in order to get his career back on track.

“First of all he’s a splendid guy, he came with contagious enthusiasm and he’s delighted to be here," he said. "If he looks back on his career, perhaps, he has to evaluate some mental aspects, having made some choices instead of others. But he still has the time to recover his career. I repeat this thing to him every day, he has a great chance.”