Quique Sanchez Flores staying positive ahead of Christmas test
Published 11/12/2015 | 13:11
Manager Quique Sanchez Flores accepts Watford's Christmas fixture list could have been kinder, but sees no reason why his side should not enjoy some festive cheer heading into 2016.
The Hornets travel up to Sunderland looking to record a third straight Barclays Premier League win, with a run of just two defeats from the last six putting them in 10th place.
It has been a positive start both for the Hertfordshire club on return to the top flight and Spaniard Flores in his first English job. However, the sternest test of just whether Watford have what it takes to hold their own among the elite clubs is fast approaching.
After Saturday's trip to Wearside to face a Sunderland team scrapping to get out of the bottom three, Watford host Liverpool, head to Chelsea on Boxing Day before tackling Tottenham and then Manchester City on January 2.
Flores, though, sees no reason to believe his men should not be able to get something out of all of those daunting fixtures provided they continue to deliver the required approach.
"For us, I cannot guarantee we will presume (to get) three points against Sunderland or against Liverpool, it is impossible, I do not know what will happen during the matches," he said.
"We will try to analyse things and get the best information to the players, but this is football and anything is possible in football.
"It is not the easiest problem for December, but we will just play every game.
"We are just thinking about the next match, our idea is always to try to get the result, be competitive and do our work."
The Spaniard continued: "After any result, whether it has been a win, draw or a loss, we remove completely what has happened in the match before and are focused on the next game.
"Of course we are positive after (beating) Norwich, but need to control that positive energy and use it well."
Sunderland may have slipped back to 19th place following defeat at Arsenal last weekend, but Flores has been impressed by the work of new manager Sam Allardyce, whose side won at Crystal Palace then beat Stoke at home before being edged out by the title-chasing Gunners.
Flores said: "Sunderland have changed a lot with the new manager and I respect that a lot. He (Allardyce) has a lot of experience in the Premier League and has changed the shape and dynamic of the team.
"He is changing systems during the matches, so we have to be ready for different options which they are going to use against us.
"Sunderland will be a very tough team, with their fans very close (to the pitch) it will be difficult.
"But we have 2,000 fans who follow out team, we have a spirit and so it will be possible for us to get everything also."