James Garner not allowed to play for Watford against parent club Man Utd due to FA Cup rules

JAMES GARNER is ineligible to play in Watford's FA Cup third-round clash with Manchester United this evening due to rules on players featuring against their parent clubs.

Garner, 19, is loan with the Championship outfit for the duration of the 2020/21 season.

But he won't be able to show United what they're missing out on as FA Cup rules prevent loanees from facing their permanent employers.

The rule states: "The Association will not give permission for players on loan or work experience to play against the lending club."

Garner has been a regular fixture for the Hornets this season, making 30 appearances and scoring one goal in all competitions.

The midfielder's performances have caught the eye of United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who said: "Jimmy [Garner] has done really well [at Watford].

“Then there was a change of manager and the new manager has had only two games and Jimmy hasn’t really had a look-in.

“The first four or five months have been really positive for Jimmy. He’s a boy that we really believe in.

"Of course he needs that game time and exposure and the Championship is a very good level of football, so it’s been really good for Jimmy and hopefully he can fight his way back in the team again."

Garner has been satisfied with his contributions so far this season but still believes he needs to do more for the team.

The teenager said: "I wouldn't say I've been at my best lately.

"The games have been tough, there have been lots of long balls, second balls, teams with big strikers, tall, aggressive players and lots of set-pieces.

"The manager put me on set-pieces, on corners, on free-kicks so I need to knuckle down and start putting them on the money."

He added: "I've got to do the dirty side. In the majority of games, you've got to do the dirty side first and the football comes out second.

"It's about weathering that storm for 15 to 20 minutes and then letting our quality come through. I feel that's in me.

“I always played with older, bigger and stronger players in the youth teams. I was playing as a six doing the dirty work.

“I’m not scared of it, I love doing it. It's not all about assisting and scoring."

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