Chris Iwelumo criticism 'harsh', says Watford boss Dyche

Sean Dyche
Dyche watched his side draw their second successive home blank against West Ham on Tuesday

Watford manager Sean Dyche has leapt to the defence of striker Chris Iwelumo, following a slow start to the season.

The 33-year-old has yet to find the net in his three Hornets starts and endured supporter criticism in Tuesday's 4-0 loss to West Ham.

But Dyche said the Scotland international was suffering from the effects of a pre-season setback.

"It's a bit harsh on him because he's not 100% fit," he told BBC Three Counties Radio.

"It hasn't happened for him so far, we believe in him, we think he's great around the group, a great leader and we think it will work for him.

"To be fair to Chris he's come in, got injured. We've played him when he's not properly fit, hoping the games will get him sharp.

"We'll find a partnership over time that works. He's a very honest player and he'll be a little bit disappointed with his performance but his record tells you there's a lot more to come."

Iwelumo, who scored 11 times in his 45 league games for Burnley last season, was paired with Marvin Sordell against the Hammers, with Troy Deeney and Gavin Massey used off the bench.

And Dyche insisted he was still hoping to bolster those attacking options.

"We're looking to bring players in, we have a [financial] situation everyone's aware of," he explained.

"Certain clubs have raised the bar again in terms of finance and contracts, we have to challenge at our level."

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