Quique Sanchez Flores has claimed his current Watford team is much better than the one he had four years ago, but is currently hampered by fear.

The head coach said the mood around the camp after he first joined was one of fearlessness because of their recent promotion, but that on his return he has inherited a squad full of nerves and doubts, despite objectively being of higher quality.

“They’re completely different,” said Sanchez Flores.

“But the most important in football right now is the character, the mood and the spirit. It’s more important than the technique and the skills and everything and what I found four years ago is a squad full of confidence because they were just promoted, they felt completely happy, completely brave, no fears of anything so it was perfect. Now we have probably a better squad, but they are full of fears, they are full of doubts, all these kind of things, so it’s completely different.

“We need to accept this situations. That’s what we try to work to change because the moment we change, all the qualities of this squad will come out, it will be different.

“It’s hard because it’s like believing in something you can’t see, but it’s the faith.”

Not helping the head coach has been a recent flurry of injuries, as players have been forced out with problems during each of the last three games.

Sanchez Flores said he is working hard with innumerable stuff members in order to try and resolve the injury crisis as soon as possible and to prevent it from getting any worse.

“This is hard, it’s hard to lose a soldier in every single match,” he said.

“You have no idea how many members are working in the staff of the club. Not in my staff, you have no idea how many members are around the players, you have no idea how many physios how many doctors, how many physical coaches we have around because it’s not anymore like 10 or 15 years ago, the clubs have a lot.

“All of them they care about the players, but sometimes this happens and all we can do is meet to try to check what happened, what is the situation. Just trying to check and to stop all this kind of situation.”

The head coach described the worsening injury problems as “really weird” but said it may be related to tension and the way his players’ muscles are responding to pressure.

However, the coach said some of the issues may be related to events that happened before his arrival.

“It’s really weird,” he said.

“The only thing I can say in my opinion, in my experience, is when the players are playing with this kind of pressure, extra pressure, the muscles don’t respond in the same way, they don’t respond and the brain doesn’t respond in the same way.

“That the brain doesn’t respond in the same way we know perfectly and we can see every single week, but even the muscles they are not responding the same. They can feel more tired, they can feel more tense and the muscles respond differently. It’s not an excuse, it’s football.

“I am not responsible about what happens before. I can be responsible for what happened in the last month and a half, but not what happened before.”