The Watford head coach reiterated his view that the current spate of injury problems may be related to the pressure the players are feeling after Craig Cathcart became the latest to suffer a fitness setback during the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.

The Hornets centre-half was replaced by Adrian Mariappa with 20 minutes on the clock after suffering what Quique Sanchez Flores described as a back spasm.

It was the fourth match running in all competitions that the head coach has been forced into a first-half substitution due to an injury, following Domingos Quina at Everton, Tom Cleverley at home to Bournemouth and Danny Welbeck at Tottenham Hotspur.

Sanchez Flores described Watford's mounting casualty list as "really weird" before Saturday's game, but he again suggested the issues could be due to how the players' muscles are responding to the tension of being bottom of the Premier League without a victory following the loss to Frank Lampard's side.

“I think he had some spasm in the back,” Sanchez Flores said of Cathcart’s injury. “He didn’t report anything during the week and even in the warm-up it’s okay, nothing. But in the press conference this week I said the players, when they are playing with these kind of pressures – so heavy, so bad – the body could react in a lot of directions that we can’t control.

“Probably it’s the first time I’ve seen Cathcart leaving (due to an injury) after five minutes, but now the pressure is there, it’s inside of the players and the muscles are reacting different.

“To lose one change of the players after five minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes is really bad for the team but we have to live with that.”