Watford boss Flores ready for a tough assignment as he hails Sunderland’s new confidence

Quique Flores

Quique Flores

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Watford head coach Quique Sanchez Flores insists he will not underestimate the challenge of taking on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light tomorrow.

The Black Cats returned to second-bottom spot following last weekend’s defeat at Arsenal, but Flores has taken note of the improved performances produced by Sunderland since the appointment of Sam Allardyce.

“They are playing with more confidence with respect to their first matches of the season,” the Hornets boss told watfordfc.com

“They changed their shape, they changed their system, now they are playing with a defensive line of five. Sometimes they play 5-4-1, and sometimes 5-3-2, depending on the opponent.

“We have to respect Sunderland. It is not enough for us to think that they are near the bottom of the table.

“We do not underestimate this team, and for sure we are ready for a very tough atmosphere.”

Flores’s side come north on the back of successive Premier League victories, and he wants a third in a row tomorrow.

“We try always to create new expectations and new targets before every match,” added the Spaniard.

“It is true that we won a couple of consecutive matches a few times during the season, but now we should think about another target and try to win three consecutive matches in the next match.

“We know that it will be very difficult to get the target, but, in any case, we are prepared in our mentality to be positive, to be competitive, and of course it would be perfect to win at this stadium.”

Swiss midfielder Valon Behrami (calf injury) misses out for a fourth straight game for Watford, with Flores saying: “It isn’t serious. He has a little problem in his calf. He is fighting to get back fit though and is a very professional player.

“We will be patient with him. He was very important in the early matches and we needed his character and experience.”

Defender Sebastian Prodl returned to training this week, but tomorrow’s game comes too son for him.

Follow our live matchday Sunderland-Watford blog from noon-6pm tomorrow