Marco Cassetti believes Watford will need to win ten of their remaining 13 matches this season to squeeze into the Championship play-offs and admits even that may not prove enough.
The Hornets are seven points behind Wigan Athletic, who occupy the last play-off place, and the Latics have also played one game less than Beppe Sannino’s side.
The average points tally for the team finishing sixth in the Championship over the last five years is 74 and with Watford currently on 45, Cassetti admits it will take an incredible run of form to close the gap.
Cassetti said: “There are 13 games to go but there are also a lot of points to play for. We can try to get there, absolutely we can try.
“If we win ten games you might think we will be able to make the play-offs but maybe even this will not be enough.
“We are seven points behind the play-offs and to just make that up you need three games so I am not sure even ten wins will do it.
“We want to try as hard as possible – we have seen before teams have come through late but it is very, very difficult now.”
Watford bounced back from defeat at Bolton Wanderers by thumping Blackpool 4-0 at the weekend, which was the Golden Boys’ fifth consecutive win and clean sheet at Vicarage Road in all competitions.
Since Sannino took charge in December, the Hornets have played eight matches at home, winning six, losing only once and conceding just a single goal.
That impressive record is in stark contrast with their away form however, where Watford have failed to win in their last 12 league and cup games.
“There is certainly something wrong with our away performances,” Cassetti said.
“I think it’s just a mental thing, I don’t think it’s to do with the way we play because if you look at how we played against Bolton and then how we played against Blackpool, there is too much difference between the two matches.
“I think it is a mental thing, it’s to do with focus – I hope it is because we can solve that problem.”
Sannino has instilled solidity and resilience into Watford’s style of play this season – qualities that traditionally suit a team playing away from home.
Cassetti said the issue has not been discussed in the dressing room but admits improving results on the road is essential if the Hornets want to climb the table.
“I agree it should be the other way round for a team like us, it’s very strange but this is football,” Cassetti said.
“Football is beautiful for that reason because it is not always logical. Last year we played better away. Now we have changed the gaffer we are playing very good matches at home.
“We have to improve in our away matches – this is the most important thing at the moment if we want to start looking up the table.”
Watford’s scheduled match against Charlton Athletic on Saturday has been pushed back to April 29 due to the Addicks’ progression in the FA Cup.
The Hornets’ next fixture is on Tuesday night away to Doncaster Rovers, who are 20th in the table and fighting for Championship survival.
Cassetti said: “It is one of the most important games for us because we have to keep winning and we haven’t played well enough in the last two or three away matches.
“We don’t want to arrive at the end of the season wondering what might have happened if we had won this game or that game, got a point here or a point there.
“We want to give our all every time and know we gave the best we could. That’s all we can do.”