English League 2

Ward not concerned by injuries

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Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:04:00

Watford have added two more new signings to their squad with the permanent captures of Ikechi Anya and Reece Brown.

Winger Anya spent last season on loan with the Hornets from sister club Granada and has now agreed a three-year contract.

The 25-year-old former Wycombe youngster made 29 appearances last season as Gianfranco Zola's side reached the play-off final.

Vicarage Road chief Zola has also swooped for free agent Brown, who was released by Manchester United in May.

The 21-year-old defender, the younger brother of former United star Wes Brown, has put pen to paper on a two-year contract.

The Hornets have also confirmed that full clearance has been granted by the Football League and the FA regarding the eight players they signed last week.

Former loanees Almen Abdi, Marco Cassetti, Cristian Battocchio and Daniel Pudil agreed permanent deals along with Gabriele Angella, Marco Davide Faraoni, Diego Fabbrini and Javier Acuna, who all arrived from Watford's other sister club Udinese.

The captures of Anya and Brown take Zola's total summer signings to 13.

German midfielder Fabian Broghammer, who signed a one-year contract extension this summer, is likely to miss the majority of the upcoming campaign after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament during last week's friendly with Hereford.

Ryan Brunt (knee) and Jim Paterson (broken leg) are also set to start the season on the sidelines leaving Ward reliant on a predominantly young squad.

"When you lose players from the squad through injury you look around for others to stand up, so I think these sorts of situations and little setbacks only serve to galvanise the group," Ward told the Bristol Post.

"We had to go through similar problems a few months back and the response I got from the players was second-to-none, so I don't expect anything different when we start the new season."

He added: "We are a tight-knit group and we all feel desperately sorry for Fabian - it is horrible for a young player to get such a serious injury just before the start of a new season.

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