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Quique Sanchez Flores calm amid Watford contract uncertainty

Quique Sanchez Flores remains relaxed about his contract situation at Watford even though we understand there is a break clause in the two-year deal he signed last summer.

The Hornets’ head coach stressed this morning he is completely happy at Vicarage Road and respects why senior executives will wait until the end of the campaign to discuss whether they plan to extend the deal, allow him to run down the final 12 months or whether either party has a willingness to activate the break clause we understand Sanchez Flores asked to be inserted in last summer’s negotiation. 

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Sanchez Flores has all but delivered a second season of Premier League football, something he, Gino Pozzo and Scott Duxbury expected when they first met at the training ground in London Colney. Sanchez Flores has also guided the club to the semi-final of the FA Cup and within one win of only their second appearance in the cup final.

However, Watford’s poor form since Christmas – they’ve won just two league games since they beat Liverpool – is a cause for concern, as is the style of football, team selection and development of young players so fundamental to the Pozzo model.

“I have coached at many clubs and circumstances change,” said Sanchez Flores this morning. “At some clubs I’ve decided to finish my contract early. For example, at Benfica, I signed a two-year contract but after one year I didn’t have the right feelings. I told the club I didn’t want to stay. At Valencia and Atletico I signed a contract every single year. It’s always different. Some clubs wait until the end of the season, others wait until after the objectives are finished. I respect every mentality at every club because they always have to think carefully.”

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Watford employed four coaches last season, firing two of them, losing one to ill-health and deciding not to renew the contract of the other. Udinese and Granada have seen a change of coach in the last two months.

“It isn’t a stress for me,” said Sanchez Flores. “We are relaxed inside the club. I am not worried. I am really happy at Watford and with this group. I am happy with how the club manage me. I have strong and close contact with the owner and the sporting directors. They don’t need to be supporting all the time, I am not that kind of person.”

Sanchez Flores has not been one to hang around during his coaching career, whether it because he was lured elsewhere or because he was fired. He was at Getafe for one season, Valencia for just over two, Benfica for one, Atletico for less than two, the same at Al Ahli, Al Ain for six months and, most recently, Getafe less than two months.

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“A contract is one thing, the feelings are another,” he said. “The way I talk with the owners, the players and about next season, everything is clear. Then there is a paper that is signed, it’s nothing important. The circumstances are really good. I am very happy here and I think the people around me are happy. But football is football.”

Sanchez Flores has good working relationships with Pozzo, Duxbury and sporting director Luke Dowling. He feels the club are in safe hands, regardless of who is in charge of the first team.

“Gino knows how football works here,” he said. “He knows the difference compared to Spanish or Italian football. He has very good ideas for the future of Watford. The fans should be completely calm and happy because the club is in very good hands. It is clear the ambition of the owner, he wants to establish the team in the Premier League.”