Belfast Telegraph

Walter Mazzarri not fearing the sack at Watford

Watford manager Walter Mazzarri sees no reason why he should fear the sack in the summer.

The Hornets head into their final four matches of the Premier League season sitting in 13th place on 40 points, some eight clear of relegation-battlers Swansea and having played a game less.

It has, though, been something of a stop-start campaign under the Italian, who took over from Quique Sanchez Flores.

At one stage, Watford look well set for a top-half finish before Mazzarri's side then slipped into an indifferent run which has seen six defeats out of the past 10 games including a 1-0 home loss against Liverpool on Monday night.

It has been reported the former Napoli and Inter boss could see his position come under scrutiny by owner Gino Pozzo amid suggestions of dressing room discontent.

However, Mazzarri is confident he can safely plan for another campaign at Vicarage Road.

"I think it (my position is safe) even more than before if I look at my team, how we play, my contract. I am sure that after watching how we did last year, we can have a great Premier League (campaign) next season," Mazzarri said.

"We knew it would be more difficult this year than last year. It is harder to consolidate in the Premier League."

Watford beat Swansea on April 15, which saw them move onto 40 points, which is traditionally the mark needed to retain top-flight status.

Following the 1-0 win at Vicarage Road, Mazzarri gave his players a couple of days off, before bringing them back in to work towards the Liverpool game.

The Italian feels the squad can now pull together for the remainder of the campaign, which continues at Leicester on Saturday.

"This summer many of my colleagues, aside from the top six teams, they were talking about 40 points. It is the magic mark and (you try to) reach them ASAP. Myself and the team reached 40 with six games left in the Premier League season," Mazzarri said at a press conference.

"We went to Hull (in the next game, a 2-0 defeat) and since I am not only the manager, but also the number one fan of this team, I don't want to think that some of the players subconsciously relaxed o nce we (had) reached 40 points.

"I wanted to give them a day off immediately after Hull. I gave them two days off - and I made them work very hard after that defeat.

"I am happy that I got the right answer, against Liverpool we played well.

"There was no big difference between the sides. It was decided by one episode (Emre Can's overhead kick). I am happy because my team gave everything and I will do it again."

Defender Jose Holebas will be monitored on a foot injury, but Miguel Britos has been ruled out after being forced off after just 19 minutes against Liverpool because of a muscle problem in his lower leg.

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