Quique Sanchez Flores understood the "normal" reaction of Watford fans to his third substitution and feels it is important to take the positives from the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea to try and build as the Hornets battle for Premier League survival.

Ben Foster was almost the unlikeliest of heroes when his last-gasp diving header was saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga as the Hornets nearly battled back from 2-0 down to salvage a point, but it was the reaction of a large section of the Rookery to the head coach’s decision to replace Daryl Janmaat with Kiko Femenia that had seen him come under fire.

The substitution was greeted with a chorus of boos and chants of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ as Sanchez Flores decided not to bring on Isaac Success with his side two down at the time, but the Watford boss explained the move was taken with the shape of the team in mind.

Asked his response to the reaction of the fans, Sanchez Flores said: “It’s normal because sometimes in the stands we are reading a different match and probably they are thinking we have one striker on the bench. But from my point of view I have the feeling with [Daryl] Janmaat we are not deep anymore.

"He made a very, very good first half but he’s not deeper anymore and we need someone deeper, so the only player we have to do that in this moment was Kiko [Femenia]. Someone fresh and the position was normal, player for player.”

Asked if it hurt to be on the receiving end of such chants, the head coach said: “In this situation you need to manage a lot of things. It’s not just about the result. For me it’s to care about the players, to care about the fans, we have to live with these kind of things. But it’s not easy to manage with everything. To manage with Chelsea, to manage with our players, to create positive energies from nothing because the most important thing is the result, many things at the same time and we try to do it the best way we think.

“Obviously this situation is tough, is difficult, and we are not the same coach sometimes when we have many things to manage and we need to give clarity for different things.

"Today we need to take the positive bits and, like I tell you before, when we are able to create the positive energies - when they have good pressure, when they play well and they cross and they shoot.

“We are able to see all these kind of things in every single match. Even today, saying that Chelsea was better than us, we had the last chance to take one point. We need to take these things if we want to build something.”

The defeat means Watford remain bottom of the Premier League without a win in their first 11 games of the season and Sanchez Flores said: “It’s difficult. We know it’s a very tough situation. The players lose confidence when they receive this kind of bad news, like the first goal in five minutes, and you can feel that it goes down and then they need good feelings to recuperate these actions.

“During the match we are creating for some minutes, not too much, but the kind of reaction where the team feels confidence or feel able to create football. I would like to do it for the whole match but right now it’s difficult because the players, they are human beings and they are receiving more and more bad news during the match.

“When they look like they don’t run or they are tired, they are not tired, they want to run but they are mentally deflated.”