Watford’s players are struggling to cope with match day pressure, according to head coach Quique Sanchez Flores.

The Hornets dropped back to the bottom of the Premier League after a bruising 3-0 home defeat to Burnley last weekend, but the Spaniard insists they are performing well in training.

Instead he believes that pressure in games is the main contributor to the poor performances that have anchored the team to the foot of the table and that his players need to play with greater focus to help pull themselves out of the relegation zone.

“We have the situation with the players where we don’t have any problems,” said Sanchez Flores about his side’s effort in training.

“They work hard during the week, they’re amazing, the problem is in competition they feel a lot of pressure. We are talking about the pressure on the coach, but no one talks about the pressure for the players and they play. I can’t do anything more when the ball is there around the boxes and everything, I can’t do much more about the ball. The players they are playing under pressure of course and that’s why they look worse sometimes, but they’re good players, during the week they don’t feel this pressure.

“During the week, the feeling I have with them is they train well and they have passion, they want to run, they want to say and repeat what I’m doing in training, I can feel it.

“They look amazing, they look strong for me because they’re able to change between matches, even if they lost. They are able to recover this strength, but then it’s coming the match and the matches need more focus, need more attention.”

Sanchez Flores said he was pleased with some aspects of the three goal defeat to Burnley, in which the Hornets controlled the game for large portions of the first-half.

However, he said they still need to do much more in order to have any hopes of Premier League survival and claimed he and his squad are still preparing for every game as if it’s a final.

“For us it’s a long time that we’re saying it’s a final and we’re preparing finals,” he said.

“But when you’re playing finals, it means that you need to reduce mistakes. What’s happened in the last match, after 53 minutes, not receiving any shots, the first time they went close to the goal, we concede a goal. It means that we are not completely focused, it means that we can do more, but it means that we’re a good team, we can be competitive against teams like Burnley for example, but it’s not enough. All of us we know that it’s not enough, we need one step more. One step up. If not, it shouldn’t be enough.

“We need to try to change to come back for the good feelings, for the games we play against Tottenham against Norwich. Focus, no distractions, concentrating on what we are doing, it’s the only way we have to do it if we want to change the situation.”

The head coach branded this weekend’s clash with Southampton as “crucial” and admitted he too was under pressure to start producing results.

“The situation of the team means it is a more significant match for us,” he said.

“I can’t remember everything about the last years, or about this year but I know the significance - it’s important, it’s crucial.

“It’s true. Every single weekend, there are a lot of managers under pressure. It’s normal, it’s true it’s our profession and if anything happens, it’s our responsibility.”