Watford vs Sunderland: Quique Sanchez Flores ready for 'emotional' Watford farewell

Posted Sunday, May 15, 2016 by PA

Quique Sanchez Flores will take charge of his final match as Watford boss on Sunday after it was confirmed he is to leave the club next month.

The speculation over Sanchez Flores' future has finally been brought to a close following a meeting between manager and board on Thursday in which it was decided an extension clause in his contract would not be activated.

The 51-year-old Spaniard's departure comes despite his success in guaranteeing Watford's survival upon their return to the Barclays Premier League in only his first season at the helm.

If Sunderland are defeated at Vicarage Road on Sunday, the Hornets could finish as high as 11th.

"We looked at all the season during the meeting and after that I confirmed that the club and me don't have the same point of view about the season," Sanchez Flores said.

"So we don't have the necessary conditions to activate the clause to renew my contract.

"My contract finishes at the end of June and then I will leave Watford. This is the consequence.

"I'm very grateful to the players for their amazing effort and I love the Watford fans, they were amazing and gave me a lot of love. I felt completely happy this year.

"The last game will be really emotional because of the Watford fans."

Sanchez Flores bears no grudge towards Watford despite his success in guaranteeing the club another season in the top flight.

"I understand football completely because I've been a professional in football for 32 years. I understand everything," he said.

"The most important thing is how I feel in this moment and I feel good and happy as a manager.

"I've had the opportunity to work in the Premier League and have been part of this amazing Watford team, so in this moment I feel free.

"This has been good for my experience and I'll take away the experience and things I have learned here.

"It's a long season in England and it's really, really good for a team who has just been promoted to get 44 points. They have finished in the position they deserve. My work is done."

Sanchez Flores hopes to stay in the Premier League once he leaves Watford.

"Everything is possible. I'm open to everything after my contract has finished," Sanchez Flores said.

"I love the Premier League, it has been an amazing experience, but in football you never know what is next."

The Hornets remain without Valon Behrami and Etienne Capoue due to respective rib and knee injuries.

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce may have barely shaken off the effects of celebrating his side's Barclays Premier League survival but he is already planning for next season.

Having guaranteed another year in the top flight with a 3-0 victory over Everton on Wednesday night, Allardyce appeared before the media after only a few hours of rest in a hotel close to the Stadium of Light.

Any late night indulgence has been hard-earned, Allardyce having turned around a listing ship since the turn of the year and secured survival by taking 11 points from their past five games.

But if the Black Cats are to banish the familiar cycle of mid-season despair followed by unlikely escape, something needs to change next term.

And Allardyce, who spoke optimistically about his own long-term future with the club, is already preparing to plan the way ahead with owner Ellis Short.

"I'm only just overcoming a hangover. I spent a really good few hours with Ellis last night, and the staff at the club, which was fantastic," he said.

"But I think my (next) meeting with Ellis will be our time to reflect on next season and set out where we want to go and how we're going to do it.

"At the end of that conversation we will then determine a way forward for Sunderland Football Club and hopefully it will be a more successful way forward than it has been for the last few years."

Allardyce will mix things up against Watford, with several regular starters expected to stand down and chances on offer for those who have sat out recently.

The likes of Jordan Pickford, George Honeyman, Tommy Robson, Liam Agnew and Rees Greenwood could come into the frame.

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