Roy Hodgson hoping ‘quality’ Ismaila Sarr can inspire Watford

The winger has not featured for his club since picking up a hamstring problem in February.

Ismaila Sarr (right) has not featured for the Hornets since picking up an injury after playing at Manchester United (Nick Potts/PA)

By PA Sport Staff

Roy Hodgson is hoping a rejuvenated Ismaila Sarr can take the positive impact of helping Senegal qualify for the World Cup into Watford’s Premier League survival push.

The winger has not featured for his club since picking up a hamstring problem following the goalless draw away to Manchester United at the end of February.

Sarr was back in action for the Lions of Teranga during the international break, and scored a penalty in the shoot-out win over Egypt on Tuesday night to help secure his country’s place in Qatar.

Hodgson is confident Sarr can take that momentum into the final games of the season – starting at Liverpool for Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.

“It is great when they go away, and come back fit – but it is even better when they come back like Sarr, celebrating that his team has now qualified for the World Cup,” said Hodgson.

“It has been a hard journey for him to play for Senegal this time, but a very successful one, so that has buoyed his spirits I am sure.

“I am pretty certain he will be putting his hand up and ask to be put into the starting line-up (on Saturday).

“As far as I am concerned, a player of his quality is going to be very important for the club if we are going to pull ourselves away from the relegation zone, because you can’t do it without players of that sort of quality.

“My last memory of Ismaila before he got injured at Manchester United was a very positive one.

“He did very well up there, worked exceptionally well and was very good for the team. His help if you like as one of the 11 got us a particularly good result.”

Watford boosted their survival hopes with a 2-1 win at Southampton before the international break.

However, a trip to Anfield, where Hodgson was manager for just six months after taking over in the summer of 2010, is set to prove the sternest of tests.

Hodgson hopes his players will be up for the challenge.

He said: “At the final analysis, it is a question of how good the 11 players that you have decided to put on the field are at doing their jobs and how capable they are going to be at producing the sort of performances which can get you results.”

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