The Rafa Benitez Watford press conference has taken place on Friday lunchtime.

The United boss confirming Mikel Merino will be in the squad for Saturday and could even start.

Asked also about Mitrovic, who has had no PL starts and only 49 minutes on the pitch, Rafa Benitez says ‘It is simple, the players have to work hard to come back and be ready’.

Yet again Rafa deflected questions about the takeover and said whether or not bids have been made and rejected doesn’t affect him managing the squad.

Rafa Benitez Watford press conference:

“To have him (Mikel Merino) coming back is good news for everybody here.

“It’s still too soon for some players… But Merino has been training, and he is available.

“This group of players are keen to learn. I am always saying that this team will be better.

“We have to be sure that we correct things quickly, and if we make a mistake, change that quickly.

“Watford are doing really well. We have been watching their games, and as always this will be a tough game for us.

“My message is clear and that is nobody expected us to be where we are in the Premier League when the season started.

(Asked about Mitrovic)  “Every player in the squad is in my plans and in Mitro’s I know about the World Cup (Mitrovic said this week he needs games ahead of next summer’s finals).

“Gayle was top scorer last year and he came back and it is simple, the players have to work hard to come back and be ready.

“(Jacob Murphy) still has great potential and still he can improve. He is working hard trying to do that.

“I’m seeing what is on TV (about potential NFC takeover) and have no other information.

“What has been done (a bid for the club), or if it has been rejected, doesn’t affect us.”