Flores ap­plauds a job well done be­fore head­ing for the exit

The Daily Telegraph - Total Football - - PREMIER LEAGUE - By Richard Amofa at Vicarage Road

Quique Sánchez Flores feels his job at Wat­ford is “com­plete” af­ter guid­ing them to Premier League safety. The club have fin­ished 13th de­spite a dif­fi­cult sec­ond half of the sea­son that ul­ti­mately cost Flores his job.

Af­ter his fi­nal game, the Spa­niard had no hard feel­ings, in­stead re­flect­ing on a sense of ac­com­plish­ment at keep­ing the club up. “I feel my job is ab­so­lutely com­plete,” Flores said. “We hit the tar­get we had to keep the team in this cat­e­gory, and the way we did it was amaz­ing. We didn’t suf­fer. We en­joyed the ex­pe­ri­ence with a feel­ing that we were do­ing ev­ery­thing in the right way – for me, 45 points is a lot of points for a team who has just been pro­moted.”

Af­ter a great start to the sea­son that saw Wat­ford reach eighth, a run of only four wins in 19 matches took them down the ta­ble.

Flores re­mained gra­cious on his de­par­ture. He did, how­ever, say that the next man­ager would need to make ad­di­tions to the squad. “It’s been a good first year but a dif­fi­cult one, but play­ers will want to go to a team that is con­sis­tent,” he said.

Goals from Se­bas­tian Prodl and Troy Deeney en­sured a draw af­ter Jack Rod­well and Jere­main Lens had twice put Sun­der­land ahead. Wat­ford dom­i­nated large parts of the game against a Sun­der­land side con­tain­ing Premier League debu­tants in Tom Rob­son and Rees Green­wood.

Home winger Al­men Abdi was a dan­ger­ous pro­tag­o­nist on the right­hand side and had the first chance of the game when his pow­er­ful right-foot drive whis­tled just wide of Jor­dan Pick­ford’s post. The Ital­ian went close again min­utes later, but again failed to hit the tar­get when his left-foot curler sailed over from the edge of the box.

José Manuel Jurado and Nathan Aké also had shots at the Sun­der­land goal, but their long-range strikes were well saved by Pick­ford.

Sun­der­land were merely pas­sen­gers in the first half an hour, but took the lead against the run of play. Af­ter Lens’s ef­fort was saved well by Heurelho Gomes from a counter-at­tack, the Dutch­man showed good com­po­sure to slide the ball across the Wat­ford goal to an un­marked Rod­well, who poked the ball home at the far post.

Sur­pris­ingly, Wat­ford were be­hind at the break, but equalised two min­utes af­ter the in­ter­val through a pow­er­ful Prodl header. The home side fell be­hind again soon af­ter, how­ever, fall­ing foul of an­other Sun­der­land break­away. Dun­can Wat­more’s pow­er­ful run ended in a pre­cise pass to Lens, and the mid­fielder fin­ished well un­der the body of Gomes af­ter cut­ting on to his left foot.

Un­de­terred, Wat­ford kept press­ing and were re­warded when Deeney scored from the penalty spot af­ter Jurado was ad­judged to have been fouled by John O’Shea.

Fi­nal act: Quique Sánchez Flores waves to the Wat­ford sup­port­ers

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