Quique Sanchez Flores said his players executed his plan to perfection but even he did not expect Watford to beat Liverpool, a club he so admired during his playing days at Real Madrid, so handsomely on a memorable afternoon at Vicarage Road
Sanchez Flores set his team up to suffocate the visitors in midfield, harry their shaky defence and put Adam Bogdan under pressure at every possible moment. It worked a treat. Teams know what Watford are going to throw at them these days but dealing with it is another matter.
“I feel completely happy,” he said. “I am happy every single day and enjoy the week as I know what I am planning, the players are going to do. Normally, they play the match I want – and we play against some amazing teams and some amazing managers.”
Watford have carved out a reputation as grinding out results under this Spanish alchemist but they won with plenty to spare this time. It could have been more.
“Before the match it was difficult to imagine we will win by three,” he said. “But we have amazing scorers and we have the possibility to score every single match as we create attempts. We had problems at the start with goals but we were always happy with the attempts we were creating. This group has a very big soul and we are fighting a lot to be completely competitive. I am completely happy with the atmosphere here.”
Gino Pozzo went into the changing rooms after the game to, no doubt, congratulate the players. Will the head coach and owner now be recalibrating expectations now the club are one point off the Champions League spots?
“It is very important to be humble in what we are doing,” said Sanchez Flores. “It will be a big mistake and not clever [if we get above ourselves]. We have to think about keeping the category. The idea is for the club is to keep the category. We think about growing Watford, growing a lot. We need to establish [this club] in the Premier League.”