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‘I say sorry to the fans for Guedioura substitution’

Quique Sanchez Flores says he has no issue with Watford’s fans booing his substitutions after the Hornets’ supporters voiced their displeasure at the Spaniard’s decision to take off Adlene Guedioura during today’s 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.

The Algerian international, who is a firm fans’ favourite, was handed his first Premier League start of the campaign at The Hawthorns – and his first in the top flight of English football since January 14 – and created what proved to be Watford’s winner with a near-post corner kick which Ben Watson flicked home in the 27th minute.

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But, midway through the second half and with Watford coming under increasing pressure, Sanchez Flores decided to replace Guedioura with Mario Suarez, a player he worked with at Atletico Madrid. Watford’s travelling support weren’t happy and strongly booed as Guedioura left the field before chanting the midfielder’s name.

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“I respect the Watford fans’ opinions a lot,” Sanchez Flores said after his side’s 1-0 win. “We are working for them and it would be perfect that every single decision I take during the season they love. But, finally, we have one today that they didn’t agree with. So I say sorry to them. I always try and make the right choices and the choices they want.”

Guedioura’s lack of game time this season has been a constant irritation for certain Watford fans. He has made 19 appearances in all competitions but only four of them have been starts. It’s that dearth of match action which Sanchez Flores said was the reason Guedioura was brought off against West Brom instead of Jose Manuel Jurado.

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“Guedioura hasn’t played a lot during the season,” the Watford head coach said. “After an hour maybe his physical level went down. So I decided to make the change.”

Guedioura’s inclusion was one of four changes made to the Watford side this afternoon; the others saw Allan Nyom, Nathan Ake and Sebastian Prodl return to the side. The latter two were because of injuries to Jose Holebas and Craig Cathcart.

“We have to make those changes because we want to involve all the players,” he said. “It’s important because we are creating a good atmosphere around all the players and there is a positive energy.”