Adrian Mariappa thinks Watford have both the mental strength and the courage to solve their current relegation problems.

Speaking ahead of the game against Southampton this weekend, the defender said everyone at the club was aware of the importance of the match, but that he believes the squad has more than enough to get out of the bad situation.

“We’re going to need mental strength, we’re going to need a lot of courage as well obviously to play the way that we need to play,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of quality players in the side and we need everyone to step up and these are the moments when your character is tested and we need to show it.

“It’s a big game for us and we’ve been working all week obviously on our game plan to get it right for the weekend and we just need to take care of business now. We’re focused. Obviously we know what’s at stake this weekend, so all the lads have been fully focused on that, we’re aware of the situation we’re in and we know what a massive game it is.

“We’ve got a lot of good attacking quality players here and that can unlock defences and score a lot of goals as well, so we need to just attack as a team and defend as a team and have good belief within us. We all do, we all know we’ve quality in us to change the situation we’re in, it’s about showing it on the Saturday now and executing the game plans.”

Following a season challenging for the FA Cup and almost pushing for a place in European football, the current campaign is presenting the team with a completely different propostion.

Mariappa knows the Hornets want to be fighting higher up the table again, but said they need to earn it.

Instead, he said things have been far below the standards they set for themselves this season and that players are working to turn things around.

“It’s a different pressure and obviously the longer it goes the higher the pressure is,” he said.

“We all know what’s at stake and at the end of the day, we want to be fighting higher up the league, but you have to earn that and we’re working hard in training to change it.

“On Saturday we conceded the goal but I still didn’t think we were out of control of the game or out of the game at all, but then we conceded again and conceded again after that. By our standards it’s unacceptable. It’s about moving from that, learning the lessons from that and coming together as a group to really put it right.”

Mariappa insists the team are still behind head coach Quique Sanchez Flores, who he claims is still working in a positive frame of mind, despite the way results have gone since his arrival.

The defender hopes they can carry that positivity out onto the pitch with them at St Mary’s.

“He showed that in training, the way he works,” Mariappa said of Sanchez Flores’ positivity.

“He’s trying to convey that onto the boys and that’s something we need to do and bring onto the pitch on Saturday.

“We’re working harder every day to try and put that right.”