Quique Sanchez Flores

Watford fires Quique Sanchez Flores

1 Comment

Watford is changing managers for the second time this season.

As reported last night, Quique Sanchez Flores is out, and the appointment of a new boss is “imminent.”

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Sanchez Flores went 1W-4D-7L during his second stint at the club, which ended with a 2-1 loss to Southampton on Sunday.

He followed Javi Gracia, who was fired after earning just one point in four PL matches this season despite leading the club to the FA Cup Final last season.

Here is the release from Watford. More details to come…

“Quique is a man of great integrity and it was clear how much he wanted to have a positive impact, but ultimately results have dictated our decision,” said Hornets’ Chairman & CEO Scott Duxbury.

“The appointment of a new Head Coach is imminent, and with nearly two-thirds of the season remaining, we will provide all the support necessary to make the coming months successful.”

Watford visits Leicester City on Wednesday, with its following three fixtures against Crystal Palace, Liverpool, and Manchester United.

The Hornets have a lot of work to do but plenty of time to do it; They will sit at least six points back of the drop zone with 24 matches to play.

Report: Quique Sanchez Flores to be fired by Watford

Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Quique Sanchez Flores has managed his final game at Watford and will be fired on Sunday, according to a report from The Athletic.

[ MORE: Mourinho praises “phenomenal” Dele Alli, Spurs supporters ]

Sanchez Flores will reportedly be informed of owner Gino Pozzo’s decision during a meeting at the club’s training ground on Sunday.

Watford currently sits bottom of the Premier League, with only eight points from their first 14 games following a 2-1 defeat to 19th-place Southampton on Saturday — a game the Hornets led after 77 minutes.

[ PL PREVIEW: Arsenal’s post-Emery era begins; Man United host Villa ]

Sanchez Flores was hired by Watford on Sept. 7, replacing fellow Spaniard Javi Gracia following a 0W-1D-3L start to the 2019-20 season. Sanchez Flores’ second stint as Watford boss will have lasted just 85 days and seen him win just one of the 10 games he managed (1W-4D-5L).

Sanchez Flores: ‘It felt like a final’

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Watford FC knew heading into Friday’s matchup at Norwich City that was as close to a must-win game as a game can get this early in the season.

With both teams in the relegation zone, three points was crucial towards Premier League survival, and that’s exactly what Watford came away with. The Hornets, thanks to strong defending from centerback Craig Dawson and a goal and an assist from attacker Gerard Deulofeu, Watford came away with a 2-0 win on the road. It was a result that impressed manager Quique Sanchez Flores, his first Premier League win in his return to the club. It was also a sign for the players that all their hard work over the past few weeks can pay off in the long term.

[READ: Watford top Norwich for first PL victory]

“We knew this was a significant match and it felt like a final,” Sanchez Flores said after the match, via Watford’s website.

“We tried to give our energy with spirit and tried to put soul into the pitch, knowing that they also needed to win like us and were playing at their home with a lot of supporters in a noisy stadium. But it was our time to show something else and to get some steps up was important.”

Sanchez Flores also lauded his defense. Since the shocking 8-0 defeat to Manchester City on September 21, Watford has picked up three clean sheets, and allowed two-or-more goals in the league just twice.

“It is an important win for everyone at Watford,” Sanchez Flores. “We are training hard but you need to believe, and to believe you need to win. To win you need to fight and to want and when all these things are put on the pitch you have more possibilities to win.

“I hope this result can help the players to realize all the things we repeat to them every week – that they are much better, they can fight and they can do more.”

Premier League Preview: Norwich City v. Watford

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Two teams more than a result away from safety hope to get a season-changing win at Carrow Road on Friday (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET, online at NBCSports.com).

Hosts Norwich City enter the match with seven points, the second worst total in the league to its visitors: basement-dwelling, winless Watford.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

“This will be like a big, big final for both teams,” said Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores.

Watford’s performances have improved dramatically, but the Hornets are six points back of 17th. Norwich has two more points, but their performances have been a far cry from the team that beat Man City and took Chelsea to the limit.


Injuries/suspensions

Norwich City: OUT — Timm Klose, Christoph Zimmermann, Grant Hanley. QUESTIONABLE — Mario Vrancic.

Watford: OUT — Domingos Quina, Danny Welbeck. QUESTIONABLE — Craig Cathcart.


Probable lineups

Norwich City: Krul, Aarons, Tettey, Godfrey, Lewis, Cantwell, McLean, Buendia, Stiepermann, Hernandez, Pukki.

Watford: Foster, Masina, Kabasele, Dawson, Janmaat, Doucoure, Chalobah, Hughes, Pereyra, Deulofeu, Gray.


What they’re saying

Norwich boss Daniel Farke on the mood: “I think it’s important as a coach to face reality, you can’t make jokes and have fun, you’ve got to address the elephant in the room to help them regain confidence. I don’t punish my players, it’s about helping them improve and believe in themselves.”

The Hornets’ Flores on why this match matters: “It is not the end of the season but it is a big final for both of us and the way the game and result can change the future for both teams will be massive.”


Prediction

Troy Deeney comes off the bench to make a difference in his return from injury, and Watford wins 2-1.

Cleverley: Watford ‘could smell’ Arsenal’s hesitancy in comeback

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Despite Arsenal’s 2-0 lead over winless Watford, there was something in the air at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Just ask Tom Cleverley.

“Arsenal were a bit tentative and we could smell that a bit,” said Cleverley, who scored one of two Watford goals

[ RECAP: Watford 2-2 Arsenal ]

What also stunk was Arsenal’s decision making in the second half.

On a day the Gunners were out shot 31-7 and being held in the match (again) by goalkeeper Bernd Leno, an elementary mistake by Sokratis Papastathopoulos and terrible block by David Luiz allowed Watford a 2-2 in Quique Sanchez Flores’ first match of his second stint as Hornets boss.

“I think the reaction of the players was the most important thing,” said Sanchez Flores. “It’s easy to be down when you are losing 2-0 to a team as good as Arsenal. But we never gave up and we tried to keep the energy. In the second half we played really well.”

Cleverley had a less shielded response to the comeback.

“I would have snatched your hand off for 2-2 at half-time but we should have won it in the end,” Cleverley said. “We can definitely build on this and go forward.”