Watford boss Nigel Pearson is searching for a response from his players against Norwich on Tuesday after a third straight loss from the Hornets over the weekend.
Saturday’s 3-0 loss at Chelsea followed losses at Burnley and Southampton at home, leaving Pearson ‘s men 17th in the Premier League, a point above the relegation zone, with five games to go.
On Monday before Norwich’s rock-bottom visit to Vicarage Road, Pearson told a press conference (via Yahoo): “We recognize how important the game is. It’s one we look forward to, we want to get a response from, a reaction from another night’s defeat. It was frustrating but the game gave some strong signals. All of these games are big now and we just have to take on the challenge. There is a desire (in the squad) to improve our performance and results with certainty, and the important thing is that we get the right balance between being calm about the situation but also recognizing the need to perform and pick up points.”
Pearson, who took over at the bottom of the table in Watford in December, added: “The important thing is that we understand our position, that we are not afraid. We’ve put ourselves in a more reasonable role than we’ve been in this season at one point, and now it’s about being able to perform in a way than gives us the best opportunity. Do we believe in ourselves, do I think we have good players? Yes, and I think the players want to build on our current form. We need to display a fighting spirit, and we do need the desire to make good decisions and play as well as possible.”
There have been only two goals for Watford in four games since the restart – an acrobatic stop-time equalizer by defender Craig Dawson in a 1-1 draw with Leicester, and an own goal in the 3-1 defeat by Southampton.
When asked how he would appraise the trust of his attackers, Pearson said he had seen “positive signals” in the eyes of his players.
Pearson said: “We haven’t created the kinds of opportunities and certainly haven’t scored goals in the way we’ve done in the past, but that’s something we’re going to keep working on. If the team functions as well as possible, individuals always have a better opportunity and chance, certainly as forwards. Trust – sure, players will question confidence-wise, but again, the structure of what we’re trying to do as a team can support that. In training, I look at our players, you look into their eyes and I get plenty of good messages from them. We just have to step up and stay cool about it, but we have to compete and find ways to win games, as I’ve already said. If sometimes it’s messy, I don’t matter, it’s just about having enough results.”
Watford faces a doomed Norwich outfit, seven-point safety drift.