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Friday, September 25, 2009

Helguson Reflects and Fitness Update

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Watford Observer/Frank Smith
Heidar Helguson reflects on dramatic Watford return

- Heidar Helguson says he couldn't have dreamt of making a better second debut after his exceptional 36-minute cameo and described the fans' reception as "absolutely magnificent".

Helguson scored two goals against Leicester City on Saturday in his first game back at Vicarage Road after re-joining the Hornets on loan from Queen Park Rangers.

But his 200th appearance for the club was cut short by a calf injury and Helguson described it as the "last thing he needed".

Helguson said: "I couldn't have dreamt for a better start personally. If I hadn't have got injured and we didn't concede that late equaliser then it would have been perfect."

Helguson is regarded as a Watford legend by most fans after scoring 64 goals during his initial five-and-a-half year spell at the club, which ended when he moved to Fulham for £1.3m in 2005.

The striker enjoyed a couple of decent seasons at Craven Cottage but made only ten appearances in all competitions during 18 months at Bolton Wanderers, after spending a year on the sidelines with an ankle injury and was then out of favour with new manager Gary Megson.

A loan move to QPR was made permanent in January but the Iceland international is currently not part of manager Jim Magilton's plans.

When asked whether the old adage of 'you should never go back to your old club' was on his mind, considering his legendary status among the Watford fans, Helguson replied: "Of course you think about having a reputation somewhere because if I came back and did not do anything then is the reputation ruined, well not ruined, but does the perception change?

"It was something that I thought of but it didn't affect my decision and I was always confident that I would come and do well here."

Watford were made aware of Helguson's availability before the close of the transfer window on September 1 but were unable to wrap up the deal in time.

The 32-year-old was keen not to discuss the full reasons behind his switch from QPR but revealed he could have returned to Watford on three previous occasions.

He said: "It just came up and I was asked at the other end whether I wanted to go and I thought about it for a while. I heard about it before the international break but I didn't have the chance to talk to anybody at Watford.

"I just wanted to come once the chance came up. When it has happened before there has always been other options that I have decided to take and they have always been permanent. I would have never gone somewhere where I would have to move [house] for a three-month loan and this is handy because I can go to training and drive home again."

Watford's assistant manager Sean Dyche and goalkeeping coach Alec Chamberlain both played with Helguson during his first stint with the Hornets and the likes of head of medical Richard Collinge were also at the club.

Lloyd Doyley, Jay DeMerit and Richard Lee have all played alongside Helguson, while current stand-in captain Adrian Mariappa was on the verge of his first-team breakthrough.

"The fact I knew quite a few people was a big factor in me coming here," Helguson said.

"Having Dyche, Alec [Chamberlain] and Rich [Collinge], it makes things easier when you know people. It didn't make the decision for me but it aided my decision and sped up the process of it getting completed."

Manager Malky Mackay arrived at Watford a month-and-a-half after Helguson's departure in 2005.

The striker has lined up against Mackay though, but claimed he didn't know the Scot too well as he was always a player "you didn't want to mess with" and "you tried to stay out of his way".

The club has a new gym and Helguson said the colour of the paint is different but he claims not a lot has changed since he left in 2005.

This week his strike partner Danny Graham, who Helguson helped set up for his fifth goal of the season, said he hoped the 32-year-old's loan move would be extended until the end of the season.

But Helguson said: "That hasn't been mentioned or talked about at all and I knew that beforehand and we will cross that bridge when it comes.

"There is a long time until Christmas and a lot of things can happen in that time Watford Observer

And a Helguson fitness update

HEIDAR Helguson will continue to receive treatment on his calf injury ahead of this weekend's game with Reading.

The striker limped off during the pulsating 3-3 draw with Leicester last Saturday and had an MRI scan on Wednesday to assess the extent of his injury.

Mackay is now watching Helguson's progress carefully, before making a decision on the Icelandic international.

The gaffer said: "We're working on Heidar, he's touch and go, we need to see how he reacts to intense physiotherapy over the next two days.

"He's had knocks and bruises and injuries throughout his career, but he's a Viking, he just gets on with it.

"Over the next couple of days there will be a lot of work done on him, before we make a decision on Saturday morning." Watford

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