Ben Foster has admitted that he felt Watford were destined for relegation following their dismal start to the season, but now believes they are more than capable of staying up following a drastic shift in momentum under head coach Nigel Pearson.

The Hornets were nine points adrift at the foot of the table prior to their home game against Manchester United and the goalkeeper has revealed that he feared the worst. However, he has now praised the club for making what he has described as a brave decision to stray from their usual path and bring in an English head coach.

"When we had nine points just before the Man United game, I didn’t want to say it but it almost felt like there was a bit of inevitability creeping in," he said.

"It was almost like it was: ‘unlucky again, lads. Unlucky again.’ It was always what we seemed to be saying, but it was 2-1 losses, 1-0, very close but unlucky and it was sort of creeping that way really, so fair play to the board because I don’t think we’ve had an English manager here for however long. A long time. [There's been] a lot of comings and goings in between that time, so fair play for them to take a step back and really reassess things because it was a huge decision. I think there’ll be a lot of teams now rueing that decision because I think if you connect the dots, look at his [Pearson] last job where he was at Leicester, he was the one who put in the ground work before they went and won the league and nobody’s really touched him since then, which now people are thinking they should have had a go at it.

"I honestly didn’t think they’d bring in an English manager. I think straight away as soon as Quique got sacked we thought we could guarantee it wouldn’t be an English guy, everybody would have said the same thing. It was a great decision because we’re still going to have games where we lose this season, but the fact is now that everybody’s standards are so much higher that it’s inevitable that we’ll win more games than we’ll lose, you have to just because of the extra work the lads are putting in, the extra tackles, the fight, he’s got the belief back in the lads."

After a successful season that saw Watford finish in their highest ever Premier League position as well as reaching the FA Cup final, the poor start to the campaign has been the source of some confusion for people trying to work out from where the problems originated.

Foster believes it was complancency, which eventually grew into a crisis in confidence and thinks Pearson is not the type of coach to allow such feelings creep in among the group.

"Sometimes you just take your foot off the gas," he said.

"I mean we had eight, nine games to go last season, we are cruising, flying and subconsciously everybody pulled the handbrake up and that was it. We never got it back did we? It was not until six, seven games ago that we actually started doing what we were doing at the beginning of last season. I think that is the culmination of a lot of things - confidence being one. If we were 1-1 with 10 minutes to go we were thinking: ‘I think we might lose this’. That’s how it gets in your head. It is mad. Football is mad. Having confidence and momentum is so big.

"Before the Man United game, the odds of relegation, I think were odds on. It’s been incredible, but the manager’s very quick to remind us that we’ve done nothing yet, absolutely nothing and rightly so as well. If we won ten games on the spin now, he would still grab everybody every day and put rockets up people and say, 'you haven’t done anything yet, don’t get cocky' because getting too high when you’re winning and getting too low when you’re losing is not good either. You need to keep going on that same thing and as long as standards are high, everybody should still be doing that."