More of a surprise even than their two-month slump of cliffdropping form is the fact Watford have taken 48 per cent of their Premier League points on home soil this season.

That is the lowest proportion of any team in the Premier League, for a side managed by a man who went 41 home league games without loss, a record spanning four different clubs.

And it is one which Silva himself is, painfully for him, acutely aware of. No-one would have been prouder of racking up such a record, and equally, no-one more humbled than him with the way it has been torn to pieces.

Ahead of today's crunch Premier League clash with even more troubled Southampton, he said: "When we haven't got the right results, it's a concern for me. I think when something doesn't go in the right way, no one is more concerned than me. 

"Because I'm here everyday with a big ambition, that's how I am. I want to win everytime and improve everytime. I spend most of the day and time ehre at the club to do everything I can to develop teh team.

"I have some reasons and know why, in some moments the matches, as well, I know, and we already talked about it, during the first half of the season we played five of the top six at home.

"I hope that can be one of the reasons. But against some of these clubs we acheived good results. We can, and must, do better. This is my opinion and I hope we can start to do better next season.

"In last three games, in a normal situation we'd acheive two good results against both Leicester and Swansea. We need to be focussed until the end."

Today's challenge presents, on paper, a perfect opportunity to begin 'doing better'. Southampton are without a win in nine, cannot score for toffee and look bereft of belief.

Amazing really, that a side pushing at the top six for so long, with a period of prolonged investment despite having their best talent poached year after year, should now find itself fighting for survival.

If Watford's drop in form is alarming, it is nothing on the Saints' since their League Cup final defeat to Manchester United last February. Of the 35 league games since, they have won only eight.

Claude Puel was given his marching orders despite leading the club to eighth place last season, and delivering that first major final in 14 years - he became a victim of a pragmatic style of play, albeit one lacking in both substance and style in his latter months.

That should have been a sign of the club's high expectations, which they have consistently delivered upon year after year despite losing Mauricio Pochettino, Ronald Koeman and hundreds of millions of pounds worth of players to bigger clubs.

Mauricio Pellegrino looked perfectly set to set the club back on that upward trend, from what appeared a very minor set-back. Six months on, their problems are looking more terminal.

A goalscorer is sadly lacking from their ranks, with Charlie Austin out until March, and aside from the villain-turned-hero Sofiane Boufal and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg midfield is also looking a little too pedestrian.

Add in the prolonged exit of Virgil Van Dijk, the worst-kept secret since Walter Mazzarri's sacking, and it's been a pretty miserable few months for the Saints.

Sod's law, they'll pop four in the back of the net this afternoon and saunter off back down the M3 with three points in hand after that analysis.

But, with a lucky horseshoe firmly in hand, today's game represents a great chance for Watford to start looking up the table again, rather than peering nervously down it.