Quique Sanchez Flores, who is never one to look ruffled, says he will sleep like a baby this evening, safe in the knowledge his work is done ahead of one of the biggest games in the club’s history.
“It [the night before a game] is the best day of the week,” he told us on Thursday. “During the week I work a lot and sometimes only sleep a few hours. But one day before, everything is done. It should be done. So this is the moment I can go finally to bed, watch a programme, read a book or listen to music. I sleep two hours more and wake up at 7am. It’s the best day.”
Sanchez Flores is aware of all the speculation surrounding him but he’s seen it all before. He’s not feeling a jot of pressure ahead of the game with Crystal Palace.
“If some member of my family is sick or when I have a deep problem [then I feel nervous or anxious].” he said. “But to play football? No. I coach a team in an amazing profession. Imagine a pilot on a plane. That is nervous or anxious.”
Sanchez Flores is rarely seen on the pitch before a game. He usually gathers his thoughts in the dressing room or in the manager’s room at Vicarage Road. Tomorrow, this coach very much in touch with his emotions will change his usual routine.
“Normally I stay inside [before the game] but probably I go out before we start,” he said. “I did the same at the Emirates. Sometimes if I don’t know the stadium I like to go out and feel the sensation. I like to enjoy the experience.”
Sanchez Flores has had less time than he would have liked to prepare for a game of this magnitude but his trusty backroom team have been doing their research for a while.
“Antonio [Diaz Carlavilla, my assistant] watches more matches than anyone, maybe four of five,” he said. “I watch a couple. Then Cote cuts and edits the video. It has not been easy as Palace change a lot. Against Arsenal they changed the shape three times during the same match. Against Everton they changed players and shape. They changed a lot against West Ham. It’s important to think what happened in our last matches against Crystal Palace.”
Particularly the last one where Watford won 2-1 at Selhurst Park. How everybody connected with Watford would take that tomorrow.