EFL Cup exit no bad thing for Flores’ Hornets

Manager Quique Sanchez Flores admits he would rather his Watford players remained at the club during the international break.

Manager Quique Sanchez Flores may have been keen for Watford to progress in the EFL Cup but defeat to Everton will probably aid Premier League survival.

The Hornets went into the fourth-round clash looking for a morale-boosting victory but left Goodison Park on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline.

Mason Holgate and Richarlison scored the hosts’ second-half goals – the latter deep in stoppage time – to ensure it is the Toffees who go into the hat for the quarter-final draw.

The result means that the Vicarage Road outfit will now have just the league to think about for the rest of the year until the FA Cup kicks in early in 2020.

Ahead of the fixture, the much-travelled 54-year-old tactician said: “What we want is a win. To win is always important.”

However, what he needs is a win in the Premier League, as that is the competition on which he and his players will be judged.

With three straight top-flight draws, there are maybe signs that things are moving in the right direction but Saturday’s clash at home to Chelsea takes place at the start of November – and the club’s fans have yet to witness a league win.

Following the Merseyside loss, the Spaniard said: “If we were able to win here then perfect, if we were not able to win, we need to set up for the next match at the weekend.”

Although things look bleak and the Hertfordshire club has already changed manager this term, they are still far from adrift at the foot of the standings and a couple of wins would see them right back in the mix.

An unbeaten run of three games is something to build on and they have only lost twice in seven, but there is no substitute for taking three points.

Whether it comes this weekend only time will tell but Frank Lampard’s Blues are developing into a decent side themselves and so it will be a tricky test on home soil.

Much has been made of the return of Troy Deeney and there is no doubt that the talisman has been missed – as much for his leadership as goalscoring ability.

However, it will be the collective team spirit and work ethic that gets Watford out of trouble – if they do find their form.

With just the top flight to focus on and games against Norwich and Burnley to follow, it is surely now or never for the men in gold and black.