Cup final Quique? You’re having a laugh
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If Watford’s Premier League visit to Norwich City is being hyped as a cup final Daniel Farke is yet to receive the memo.
Farke went for a novel analogy involving doorstep salesmen following the defeat at Brighton to take the heat out of the inevitable backdrop to this tussle between the bottom two clubs.
Hornets' boss Quique Sanchez Flores coined the cup parallel on Thursday while Max Aarons was tempted to label Friday's Carrow Road contest a 'must-win' in recent days but his head coach sees it differently.
"Young players sometimes over-rate these things," he said. "It is good Max wants to win this game and to be honest I also want to be successful and everyone connected with Norwich does as well, but it will be the same for Watford. It is not a cup final, we won't lift a trophy or if we lose be out of the competition. It's an important game but if we win it's not like we can open a bottle of champagne and celebrate staying in this league.
"If we lose it is not like we have to give up, because there's so many games left to play.
"Both teams are not in positions they want to be in the league.
"We speak honestly to the players about what we need to improve but it is also important we create an atmosphere where they still feel comfortable. If I am honest getting players back from injury has helped lift the mood.
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"When you see the likes of Christoph (Zimmermann) and Grant (Hanley) back in the dressing room it lifts the confidence.
"You always have to improve in the small details but given the situation we are in I would say the mood is quite good.
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"We had prepared them over the past months that tough times will come. So they are prepared to face these moments."
Zimmermann and Hanley could be pushing for inclusion as soon as the other side of the international break, but City will certainly be tested in the central defensive area against Watford, if the Hornets' unleash fit-again frontman Troy Deeney.
"He is a really important player for them but it is something we can't influence," said Farke. "So experienced on this level and it will definitely be good for them to have him back. But I was not sitting in my office praying that he is not available this week.
"I was concentrating on our topics. We have to find some solutions. We managed to do that against Manchester City, who have world class players.
"We are respectful of these top class players but hopefully we'll have the right answers."