Heurelho Gomes says he is saddened by the fact Quique Sanchez Flores will leave Watford this summer, but stresses the players have faith in the unanimous decision of owner Gino Pozzo and Scott Duxbury to part ways with the Spaniard.
Sanchez Flores will officially depart Watford next month at the midway point of the two-year deal he signed last summer and while there will be plenty in the dressing room glad to see the back of him, he had many supporters in the shape of Troy Deeney, Odion Ighalo, Ben Watson and Craig Cathcart.
“I am so sorry he is leaving because he is a good man, a gentleman,” Gomes said. “He tried his best for the club and we need to thank him for that. He always tried to do things right but it doesn’t always work out. Maybe the last few results and the second half of the season, we didn’t keep the same level in this very hard competition. Personally I feel sorry for him but the club made their decision. They’ve made decisions before in the right way. We still believe in what they do.”
The players, we are told, found out officially when the news flashed up on the TV while they were having breakfast in the canteen on Friday.
“The mood around the players wasn’t the same after we knew he was going,” Gomes said. “But we are not involved on club decisions. They [Pozzo and Duxbury] know what is best for the club and we follow them and back their decision up. It was a strange situation in the last few games but big respect to Quique because he stayed as professional as he could. He is a special man and we wish him the best for the future. He knows football and worked 24 hours a day to give us the best he could. In the end it is a shame but we know football can be like this.”
Gomes, who is almost a certainly to win the club’s Player of the Season award on Wednesday night, has been at Watford for less than two years but has worked under five different head coaches. When he returns for pre-season training, along with the rest of the squad, in July there will be another head coach to impress. Italian Walter Mazzarri is the man likely to take charge.
“We will need to impress him [the new head coach] but also we must know what we need to give more and more every game,” he said. “I believe in the final few games we could’ve given more. Maybe we switched our focus to next season early. There is a way the club wants to go and we will need to follow this. We must be more prepared than we were this season because we know next season will be tougher. Chelsea and the other clubs who we got points off aren’t going to be the same, teams like Sunderland are going to be stronger. We had some results this season that maybe next season we don’t get. So we must be prepared. But the club are in the right way. The owner knows everything about what is best for the club.”