Watford fans say they still have hope as their club prepares for one of the “most crucial games in its history” this weekend.

After a woeful start to the season, Watford appeared to have completed the great escape with a remarkable turnaround in form - but recent results see the club head into the final day of the season with relegation staring them in the face.

The club, currently 18th in the league, almost certainly need to win at Arsenal on Sunday and hope other results go their way to avoid dropping into the Championship.

The day after a demoralising defeat at the hands of Manchester City coupled with a victory by Aston Villa over Watford's Sunday opponents, we headed into the town centre to find out how fans were feeling ahead of the weekend.

Watford Observer:

Watford's survival chances took a huge blow on Tuesday after a heavy 4-0 defeat to Manchester City. Credit: Action Images

Brian Sweeting is no stranger to experiencing the high and the lows of supporting Watford – he's been watching them play since 1959.

A life-ling supporter and season ticket-holder, it was not hard to see how deflated Mr Sweeting was ahead of Sunday’s game.

He said: “I hope for a win but I think the best we can hope for is a draw and West Ham beat Aston Villa by two or three.

"We played so well against Liverpool (a 3-0 victory in February) and it was amazing and then we were disappointing against Crystal Palace, which was the next game, and since then we’ve been very poor."

Mr Sweeting had "high hopes" of a top 10 finish when the season began but he'll definitely bite your arm off for a 17th placed finish.

Watford Observer:

The Premier League table as it stands

He also seemed confused by the departure of club manager Nigel Pearson, who orchestrated the club’s revival.

He said: "I can’t believe they planned to sack Pearson with two games to go and put somebody with relatively no experience in charge of the team for two of the most crucial games in its history.

"Sunday means a lot to me. All the supporters want is for the players to show a bit of effort."

Ron Birchall has been following Watford FC for as long as he can remember, and suggested he would not be surprised if the Hornets managed to pull it out of the bag so to speak.

He said: “They need at least a point and Villa and Bournemouth to lose.

"But I’ve followed Watford for so long that the games you think they’ve got no chance, they seem to pull out something – but their morale seems at an all-time low."

He said he could not understand Pearson’s departure with two games to go and questioned whether the club would be able to respond if they did go down.

Mr Birchall said: "It's a hard one to call because it comes down to how hungry they are to get back into the Premier League. But they need a manager in there for the long-term."

During our visit to town yesterday, we may have come across Nigel Pearson’s biggest admirer.

Watford Observer:

Nigel Pearson left the club following a 3-1 defeat to West Ham in the Premier League. Credit: Action Images

Watford Observer:

Gareth Fernandes at the FA Cup final last year

There is much uncertainty as to why Pearson left, but season-ticket holder Gareth Fernandes, who lives near Vicarage Road, is in no doubt Pearson would have kept his club up, and has urged the club’s owners to bring him back.

Mr Fernandes said: "100 per cent would have stayed up with Pearson. The club have been magnanimous in the past bringing back Quique Sanches-Flores.

"I'm really hoping the club realise that in Pearson they’ve got something to prove and bring him back. Pearson has invested a lot of time and energy.

"We are a laughing stock with the amount of managers. This isn’t the Watford way. The Watford Way is honour, integrity, and doing things the right way."

Looking ahead to Sunday, Mr Fernandes says he is “resigned” to Watford going down but says he’ll be the "happiest person" if things go their way on the final day.

He’s also backing Troy Deeney to step up and save the club when they face Arsenal.

Watford Observer:

Can Troy Deeney save Watford from relegation? Credit: Action Images

What needs to happen for Watford FC to stay up

• Watford win and Aston Villa lose or draw.

• Watford draw and Aston Villa lose.

• If Aston Villa win, Watford need to win by a two-goal greater margin than Aston Villa as Villa have scored more goals than Watford.

• Watford lose and Aston Villa lose but Villa’s defeat needs to be by two goals more than Watford’s margin of defeat. Bournemouth would also need to fail to win at Everton.

Sunday fixtures. All three games kick off at 4pm

Arsenal v Watford

West Ham v Aston Villa

Everton v Bournemouth