Watford trio back after flouting social distance rules


London (AFP)

Watford trio Andre Gray, Nathaniel Chalobah and Domingos Quina are set to return for Saturday's trip to Chelsea after the Premier League club drew a line under their social distancing controversy.

Gray, Chalobah and Quina all missed last weekend's defeat against Southampton after breaching social distance regulations by attending a party.

The group were forced to apologise after linking up at Gray's 29th birthday bash.

Gray subsequently described the event as "a gathering of friends which turned into a sort of football tournament" in an apology on Instagram.

But Watford assistant manager Craig Shakespeare said on Thursday the club are ready to move on from the incident.

The 3-1 loss to Southampton left the Hornets teetering on the brink of the relegation zone, but Shakespeare said there were no recriminations as the trio return to the fold.

Shakespeare, hosting media duties in place of ill boss Nigel Pearson, said: "We have got to the bottom of it and they have apologised to staff and players individually and collectively.

"Once we welcomed them back, we try to get on with it as normal. They have admitted they were wrong.

"They have settled back into it, they know they have made a mistake and want to make up for it.

"We have drawn a line under it, we have moved on. We have mistakes from individuals during games - they don't mean to make mistakes, but can we rectify them? Yes, we can.

"The next chance to rectify it will be against Chelsea. And if they play their part, all is well and good."