Quique Sanchez Flores says the memory of Watford fans will “be in my head forever” after bringing down the curtain on his year at the Vicarage Road helm with an emotional lap of the pitch following today’s 2-2 draw with Sunderland.

The Hornets head coach, whose departure was confirmed on Friday, was joined by his family as he waved goodbye to the fans, who sang his song loudly after watching their side finish their first season back in the Premier League 13th in the table.

Asked what his message was to the Watford supporters afterwards, Flores said: “I’m completely happy. During the season since the beginning they show me they support me, the work of the staff, the work of the team. I felt completely protected with these fans, I love them and for sure they will be in my head forever.”

The Hornets achieved safety with room to spare and the departing boss said: “I think my job is absolutely complete. The target we had was to keep the team in the Premier League and the way we got it is amazing. We didn’t suffer, we enjoyed the experience, we enjoyed a lot of matches and asked for this kind of period where maybe you are in a higher position against the big teams but it’s a lot of points for a team that’s got promoted.”

Asked if he had one memory from his year at the helm, the former Valencia and Atletico Madrid head coach responded: “I have a lot of memories, it’s impossible to retain just one because we have a lot of moments in the season and always in the context of the Premier League. It’s a new experience for me, always in the context of Watford. It’s really nice that I can’t retain one memory because it means we have a lot of reasons to remember this amazing experience.”

Watford’s former chairman Sir Elton John was at Vicarage Road to see Flores’ time come to an end but asked if he had spoken to owner Gino Pozzo today, the Spaniard said: “We were talking with the owner at the reception with Elton John before the match so we have a lot of compliments. I am completely happy with my experience in the Premier League. The most important thing for me is the respect shown by other managers in the Premier League. I receive some messages from managers in the Premier League giving their support so that means something’s very good.”

Turning to his future, Flores said: “I have an amazing couple of situations. Keep going, working which would be the best one and the second one also is perfect, is to take time with my family and with my kids. But I’m calm, I’m feeling happy and well and feeling the respect of the other people you work with.”

And he is also not ruling out the possibility of managing in the top flight of the English game again.

He said: “I love the Premier League but at the moment I sit here and I have a lot of amazing relationships and respect for every single team in the Premier League, for the clubs, for the managers and I feel completely the fans. I felt completely happy so it was a dream.”