Adrian Boothroyd has praised Steve Kabba for forcing his way back into Watford's plans.
The striker only joined The Hornets from Sheffield United in January, but his future at the club appeared bleak upon the return for pre-season training.
Boothroyd accepts he was not expecting to count on Kabba during his club's bid for a swift return to the Championship..
But, after the forward made a late substitute appearance against Wolves on Saturday, Boothroyd was quick to note Kabba's improvement.
"He was so far in the wilderness that I didn't even take him on tour, but credit to him," said Boothroyd.
"He was not in my plans, but he had a great pre-season and got his head down.
"So now, he has to keep going, and if he does, he has a chance of getting into the team."