Craig Dawson says Quique Sanchez Flores’ return as Watford manager has helped to breathe new life and confidence into the squad. After taking just one point from the first four games of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign, Watford made the decision to sack Javi Graci during the recent international break and bring back former boss Sanchez Flores.
The 54-year-old Spaniard was in charge at Vicarage Road for the 2015/16 season, where he guided the club to a 13th-place finish in the league and the semi-finals of the FA Cup before leaving in the summer.
Since leaving the Hertfordshire outfit, the Madrid-born tactician has had spells at Espanyol and Shanghai Shenhua but he has now been given a second crack of the whip with the Hornets.
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In his first game since returning, Sanchez Flores managed to pick up a 2-2 home draw against Arsenal, having come from 2-0 down at the break after a first-half brace from Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Tom Cleverley and a Roberto Pereyra penalty gave the Hornets a share of the spoils, although it could have been better for the hosts had Abdoulaye Doucoure made better contact with an effort inside the area late on.
Summer arrival Dawson, who was one of five new players to join Watford in the previous transfer window, has been full of praise for the returning manager and insists the confidence levels are much higher. “It’s obviously difficult when the manager departs,” he said. “But the new manager’s come in now and had a great week on the training pitch and everybody’s working really hard.”
Watford return to action on Saturday when they make the daunting trip to the Etihad Stadium to take on Manchester City, who suffered a shock 3-2 defeat at Norwich City last time out. The Citizens, who are five points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool after five games, have won the last 11 meetings with the Hornets, scoring a massive 38 goals in those victories.
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