A positive run of results can make the world of difference in football and three home wins on the bounce have done just that for Walter Mazzarri.
In mid-March, the Watford boss’ position was under increasing pressure, but the club now find themselves sitting tenth and on the up heading into the final stages of the season.
This upturn has not completely dissipated rumours surrounding Mazzarri’s future, but the head coach is sure of one thing. He will be at the Vicarage Road helm next season.
“As far as I am concerned I will be here 100 per cent next season. I have three years contract here and something terrible must happen for me to leave,” Mazzarri said.
“We weren’t very lucky with injuries and despite all this we are tenth. You only have to look at what the bookmakers said to know that is an achievement.
“When I see these things it was like a challenge and that is the way I am. I am happy that we are tenth, with 40 points.”
Mazzarri’s predecessor, Quique Sanchez Flores, left the club having also enjoyed a successful debut season in England last year after agreeing to activate a break clause inserted in his contract.
When quizzed whether he had a similar clause in the deal which brought him to Watford, Mazzarri confirmed he did not, and once again reiterated his desire to remain at the club.
With Mazzarri’s heart set on a prolonged stay in Hertfordshire, thoughts inevitably turn to next season and the wheels are already in motion with squad selection for the 2016/17 campaign.
He is imploring his players to view the remaining six league games as an audition to stake their claim to be a part of his squad next season.
Mazzarri said: “First year is not easy and it is a new mentality. From the second year it gets easier and the people that were here the season before know what the manager wants and can help the people who arrive.
“You need to grow and you need to win every game. I want players who, like the manager, want to be hungry to win.”