West Ham 3 Watford 1: Quique Sanchez Flores facing uncertain future after slump puts focus on FA Cup semi-final
Quique Sanchez Flores will lead Watford out at Wembley on Sunday with question marks surrounding his future.
The Spaniard has guided the promoted Hornets to Premier League safety with room to spare and to an FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace.
Yet Watford’s owners are reportedly unhappy at the club’s recent slump in form, with just three league wins since the turn of the year.
And Flores did little to discourage the rumblings following his side’s 3-1 defeat at West Ham on Wednesday night.
“I’m happy and I feel good,” he said. “We have an amazing time, now. We have 41 points so the (league) position is very comfortable, and we are in semi-final of the FA Cup.
“My future does not depend on one thing. We will see what happens.
“I’m happy with everyone around me but it’s important how people in the club value your work.
“I appreciate a lot what we are doing; keeping Watford in the Premier League was important and I appreciate a lot that Watford is in the FA Cup semi-final.
“But it’s necessary that people working around me appreciate the same. If not we have different views.”
Flores made seven changes at Upton Park with one eye on Wembley and West Ham ran out comfortable winners, even though Troy Deeney saw a late penalty saved by Adrian.
Andy Carroll fired the hosts into an 11th-minute lead and two Mark Noble penalties either side of half-time put them firmly in control.
Sebastian Prodl pulled one back but Deeney’s miss saved the Hammers from a nervous finale, while Watford had striker Nordin Amrabat sent off for a second booking at the death.
West Ham now have a 10-day break before their next outing, a trip to West Brom, and remain in with a chance of ending their final season at Upton Park with a place in the Champions League.
“We are going to use the break, rest a bit, then come back in really good shape for the last four games of the season,” said manager Slaven Bilic. “We are going to give everything to win them.”