Hayden Mullins believes Watford were unlucky, but also a bit naive in their 4-0 defeat at home to Manchester City.

Two goals from Raheem Sterling, added to by Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte in the second-half, wiped out the Hornets' goal difference over Bournemouth and Aston Villa and mean their push for Premier League safety goes into their final game of the season against Arsenal on Sunday.

Mullins, who took charge following Nigel Pearson's sacking last weekend, said he was aware he was facing a side with something to prove following their FA Cup semi-final defeat at the weekend, but that the goals perhaps were preventable.

"For us, we've played against a very good side. We didn't want to open it up too early because we know that they're very good on the counter attack," he said. "They've got some fantastic players, a fantastic manager and we knew that if we were a little bit naive then we would get hurt and we got punished on the counter attack. The goals have come at times where we think maybe they're a little bit avoidable. But they're a good side and we've got to go again.

"We knew that they were going to offer a reaction from the game at the weekend. We knew that obviously after the defeat against Arsenal they were going to come here with maybe a point to prove. We knew it wasn't going to be a team that was going to come here, roll over and lay down because they had nothing to play for.

"We tried to set up a certain way. The first goal comes at a time where we're just getting back after the water break, so it's a tough time to concede that one. I think the second one, looking back on it, to me it looks like Will Hughes gets a little bit of a touch on the ball for the penalty, so I think that one's a bit tough as well to take and that was just before half-time."

Mullins now has the unenviable task of making sure his players are ready for that big game on Sunday at the Emirates, while results elsewhere could have them in the bottom three before that game even kicks off.

The interim head coach said he is just focusing on himself and his team ahead of the game and will assess the impact of any other results as and when they happen.

"We can't think about [other results], he said. "We have to think about preparing ourselves right. Obviously it's a tough game against a very good side, Arsenal away and they're doing very well at the moment. We can only concentrate on ourselves, we're not really going to worry about other results going our way really."