Burnley defender Stephen Ward had his tongue firmly in his cheek as he said the Clarets will "get one of our lads to kick Andre Gray early on" when the £18.5 million man returns to Turf Moor on Saturday.

But if the Hornets forward does start in the North West, it might provide an extra spark for his first return to his former club since he became the Hornets' record signing in August.

Gray has not had an especially easy start to life in Hertfordshire, scoring only twice in 15 games thus far, but netted in their last away game at Newcastle a fortnight ago.

And Ward, who is very familiar with the 26-year-old following his two-year stint with the club, has his own plan on how to deal with him.

He joked to the Lancashire Telegraph: "We'll just get one of our lads to kick him early on.

"We know all about him and it'll be good to see him. We all know what he did for us. He's got pace, power, he can score goals, it's as simple as that."

Alongside their own good start, Ward has been left impressed with Watford's performances this season, and most recently last weekend's deadlock with Champions League group winners Spurs at Vicarage Road.

He said: "We need to keep our good start going. There are no easy games in this league.

"We've got Watford to come and they got a good result against Tottenham. They're a very creative side and it'll be another test for us. We'll go in to it head on as we always do."