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Quique expects lazy defending during ‘party’ Sunderland match

Quique Sanchez Flores believes Watford and Sunderland’s defending will be a “little lazy” when the two sides meet today as both will be in party mode.

Neither team has anything to play for at Vicarage Road. The Hornets have been safe for some time while Sunderland ensured their Premier League status with a 3-0 win over Everton on Wednesday evening.

With little riding on the contest Sanchez Flores believes the match will be an open affair, just like it was at Norwich City, with both teams more focused on scoring goals rather than keeping it tight at the back.

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“Both teams are safe and happy so they will want to enjoy the party,” Sanchez Flores said. “I don’t like these party matches when everything is easy and the defending is a little lazy. But I am sure it is the kind of match that we will find. The players have made an amazing effort this season and will play until the last moment on Sunday. I am not worried about them. It is the first time Sunderland will feel free on the pitch. They deserve because they have suffered a lot during the season.”

The game will give Sanchez Flores the chance to say goodbye to the Watford supporters. The Spaniard confirmed on Friday morning he and the club have decided to part ways in the summer and Sunday gives him the chance to wave goodbye, an opportunity few are extended.

Picture by Franziska Empl
Picture by Franziska Empl

“The Watford fans will keep going with the team forever,” the outgoing Watford boss said. “Their relationship with the team isn’t just good now, it has been over history. All I can say is thank you because the fans have supported the team and supported my work all the time.”

Sanchez Flores will want to sign off with a win, especially now he’s looking for another job. He will be unable to select Etienne Capoue (knee) and Valon Behrami (rib) due to injury while it’s hard to see Jose Holebas playing in the head coach’s farewell game, but otherwise has a full squad to choose from.

“The players and I will share a lot of emotions and feelings on Sunday,” the Spaniard said. “It will be strange. The players are grateful and I am grateful too. They have worked hard to build a base for the future. It is an honest relationship and we have given our best.”