Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores has much to smile about heading into the new year – but that did not stop him having to console his son following the recent defeat to Tottenham.
The Hornets sit ninth in the Barclays Premier League having been promoted in the summer and are just two points behind fifth-placed Crystal Palace.
They host Manchester City on Saturday having lost to a controversial 89th-minute Spurs goal on Monday.
With the scores level at 1-1 despite Watford being down to 10 men following a red card for Nathan Ake, Son Heung-min bagged a late winner for the visitors to Vicarage Road despite appearing to be offside in the build-up.
The result left Sanchez Flores’ son Paulo in tears, but he was soon being told to look on the bright side of life by his chirpy father.
“I’m always thinking that we need to keep our minds and that is important because we don’t want to lose our perspective,” he said.
“But we have lots of reasons to be happy. After the last match, one of my kids Paulo was crying because we lost in the last minute and I found very quickly 10 reasons to be happy with Watford.
“In seconds I found maybe 10 or 12 reasons to say ‘Paulo, we need to be happy’. We are competitive, we have a good connection with the fans, they are happy, we are in a good position, we are playing well and have the possibility to win a lot. We have 29 points and are really close to the objective.
“So we have a lot of reasons to be happy, I don’t have any reason to be sad. We are angry sometimes because we lost against Tottenham or Manchester United in the last minute or draw against Chelsea.
“It is very important to be ambitious but very important to be realistic because if not we are not enjoying the experience and I want everyone to enjoy it.
“I don’t permit them (his children) to cry. They have a lot of reasons to be happy, try to be positive and we have a lot of reasons with Watford. I want to enjoy this experience and I want to transmit that to everyone.”
Former Atletico Madrid and Valencia coach Sanchez Flores was only appointed as Watford manager in the summer and entered the campaign with a new-look squad bustling with a range of personalities and a broad selection of nationalities.
But against the odds he found a blend and has since guided the Hornets into the top half of the table, with the recent 3-0 win over Liverpool proof they can mix it with the best the Premier League has to offer.
“Of course, in the dressing room it is no surprise to us when we win consecutive matches so that shows the mentality of the team changes a lot,” he added.
“In the first part we were worried about establishing ourselves in the competition, we are now established and have the respect of the opponents.
“We now want more, we are not used to losing, when we lose against Tottenham in the last minute and draw with Chelsea in a tough match, we want more, we are not happy with those situations, it is very good.
“It is very nice, we want more and are ambitious and have a strong mentality in the dressing room.”