Watford players will give all in season finale, says departing boss Mazzarri
Walter Mazzarri is confident his Watford players will not down tools against Manchester City on Sunday despite them knowing he will not be in charge next season.
Watford's final match of the campaign will also be Mazzarri's last as manager after the club announced on Wednesday the Italian would be stepping down.
The Hornets are in poor form, having suffered defeat in their last five consecutive matches, with reports suggesting Mazzarri has lost the support of his players.
Troy Deeney was named on the bench against Chelsea last week and Mazzarri sidestepped questions on Thursday about a possible fall-out with his captain.
Mazzarri believes his squad will be fully committed against City this weekend.
"I spoke with them one by one as soon as they knew I would not be here next season," the manager said.
"I'm sure they will go on Sunday and give everything. It's a feeling I got inside me when I spoke to them."
City must avoid defeat at Vicarage Road to guarantee a top-four finish and they have been lethal in recent weeks, scoring 10 goals in their last three matches.
That will be a particular concern for Watford, who could be without six defenders for the clash.
Sebastian Prodl is suspended, Christian Kabasele and Younes Kaboul have hamstring strains, Adrian Mariappa and Craig Cathcart knee problems and Miguel Britos is struggling with a calf injury.
"Of course I would have preferred to play an easier team," Mazzarri said.
"I am also counting the players that we can put on the pitch. If we had the whole squad available I think it would have been a very good game.
"We'll try anyway to make it a close game with all the energy we have, similar to Chelsea when we played a good game. Hopefully on Sunday we'll give a surprise to everyone."
Watford sit 16th and have avoided relegation under Mazzarri, but he has failed to deliver consistency or an attractive style of play.
The departing boss had hoped to stay on, however, and admits it will be an emotional farewell this weekend.
"I already feel emotional about Sunday," Mazzarri said.
"Even though sometimes it doesn't look like it, I'm a person who keeps a lot inside. I do tend to be emotional.
"Also tomorrow will be the last game, although it is something I didn't imagine [would happen]. It will be very emotional."