The Watford players returned to training this morning after a period of what Valon Behrami believes should have involved some soul searching.
Defeat at Sunderland, who started the weekend propping up the rest, was Watford’s fourth in their last five and fifth in the last seven. Yes, they are still handily placed in 12th and firmly established as a Premier League club but it was about this time last season, following the heady win over Liverpool, that the wheels came off. This group need to stop the rot and show they are made of sterner stuff than defeats against Burnley, Liverpool, Stoke and Sunderland would suggest.
“We have two days off to think about ourselves, our mistakes,” said Behrami in an interview with the club website on Saturday. “Every player has to think about that as this kind of situation for this team is not normal. We have to be more mature, everyone of us has to think about our mistakes. This is what I will do but I expect that from everyone. It’s not a nice feeling and it’s not going to be a nice week for us. If we want to improve we have to keep working, even in your head. The team has to mature and it’s a process.”
Some of the team went to the darts at Alexandra Palace on Sunday to get the defeat out of their system but it’s Crystal Palace on Boxing Day when the full squad need to show up.
“It’s a massive game for us,” said Younes Kaboul. “We lost our last two games and that’s not good enough for us. We just need to win on Boxing Day. We’ve got quality enough in the group and team to win games, so we are confident about winning.”