MALKY Mackay knows full well the huge threat posed by Watford striker Troy Deeney this weekend.
The Wigan boss was the man who took a punt on the relatively-unknown Deeney in 2010, taking him to Watford from Walsall.
Deeney has since repaid Mackay’s faith tenfold, banging in 67 goals in just 147 matches to cement a reputation for being one of the deadliest marksmen outside the Premier League.
And a hat-trick in last weekend’s 5-0 demolition at Fulham proved he’s bang in form ahead of a reunion with his mentor at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
“I bought Troy in from Walsall, so I know full well his power and how well he’s done over the years,” Mackay told the Evening Post.
“He’s the captain, the talisman, and one of the best centre-forwards in the Championship, if not the best.”
Not that the Hornets are a one-man team – far from it.
“Matej Vydra has come back to Watford after a year in the wilderness, and he’s found his mojo again,” added Mackay.
The Scot also believes Watford are back on the up after several years of off-the-field disruption.
“The Pozzo family has really stabilised the club since taking over, and they have the model in terms of players coming in from overseas,” he acknowledged.
“There is a big squad there, and I know there’s been a little bit of managerial instability over the last year or so, but the club is running in the right direction and I’m delighted for them.
“During my time there I had three chief executives, four boards of directors, three chairmen, and we were half-an-hour from going into administration.
“We had to sell an awful lot of players, but it was a great grounding for me as a player, a coach and as a manager.
“We can talk all day long about my thoughts and feelings about Watford, but the flip side is I’m the manager of Wigan Athletic and we’ll be doing everything we can to get a win there.”