A major row broke out between members of the Watford squad and the management in the build-up to Saturday’s match after the club told the squad they wanted them to train two weeks beyond the final game of the season.
Awful performances against Derby County on April 26 and Charlton Athletic three days later led to the club cancelling the team’s day off on Wednesday.
Head coach Beppe Sannino questioned the Hornets players’ passion and commitment after the two demoralising displays and along with cancelling their day off, the club’s senior management decided they wanted the squad to train longer than initially planned after Saturday’s season finale.
In most cases, teams come into training for a couple of days after the final match of the season for testing and meetings.
On Wednesday, Sannino told the players the club wanted them to train for two weeks after the Huddersfield Town match on Saturday, which was a week-and-a-half longer than stated previously.
Watford’s players are contracted until June 30 and the senior management believed their request was fair considering the level of performances in the Derby and Charlton fixtures.
But it led to an angry reaction from some of the players – some of whom already had holidays booked.
It was subsequently decided the players would train until this Friday, which was longer than initially planned but a week less than the club had wanted.
The displays against Derby and Charlton had upset the club and Sannino had called for a reaction in the final match of the season in front of the home supporters.
But what followed was one of the worst Watford performances in recent memory as the team lost 4-1 to Huddersfield.
A dejected Sannino was asked to clarify whether the players would be asked to train longer than expected after Saturday’s match.
“I don’t think my lads deserve to go on holiday straight after the season finishes but apart from that, we have some physical tests planned and we will carry on with that,” Sannino said.
“At the moment what is scheduled will happen. The physical testing has been organised so we will carry on with that.”
When asked if there were any plans to force the players to train beyond next week, Sannino replied: “No. I will confirm there is one week of testing and we will carry on like that.”
There were rumours certain players were omitted from the squad on Saturday because of the arguments on Wednesday. However, that was strongly denied by a club source last night, who stated the players left out had not trained on Friday due to minor injuries and that was why they were left out.