Six points from safety with only 12 left to play for – and next up for Watford Women is a home game at Vicarage Road.

If the situation wasn’t hard enough, then hosting Championship leaders Sunderland on Sunday afternoon is about as difficult as it can get.

Realistically, the Hornets will need to get something out of the game as, although relegation cannot be confirmed this weekend, defeat could leave them needing to take all nine points from their remaining three games in order to stay up.

So, coach Matt Bevans said his team will be stepping out onto the Vicarage Road pitch with positivity.

“The mood from us is belief, and it has to be,” he said.

“It’s really easy for me to say that we’ll keep trying and believing, but if you watch how the girls train and then try to implement things you’d see it for yourself.

“Until that last ball is kicked or it becomes mathematically not possible for us to stay up, then that will be the message and we firmly believe in it.

“We will give everything for as long as me and the staff are at this football club.

“We want the team to represent hard work and desire, so we will give everything we can to get three points on Sunday, and that is the message.

“We want to do it our way by being brave, and being hard to beat, and really hard-working, so I’ve got no doubt the group will give us everything again.”

Watford have lost their last three games, and in those matches have conceded the first goal in the fourth, 14th and 10th minutes.

“Starting is something we have to be better at, and it’s something we’ll address as a group,” said Bevans.

“It’s a very, very tough ask if you keep conceding first and conceding early. You’re having to chase games.

“It throws out all the work you’ve done all week when you’re continually having to chase matches like that.”

Indeed, at Crystal Palace on Sunday, Watford were two down after 11 minutes and went on to lose 3-0.

“For the first 20 minutes, we weren’t at the levels we need to be at to compete in this league, our basics were poor, our support angles and shouting for the ball was poor, and we were losing first and second contacts,” Bevans admitted.

“The last 15/20 minutes of the first half we looked like ourselves, we moved the ball quicker, we were aggressive on the press, and that was the message at half-time, to continue to show that fight and that desire and bravery to get on the ball, and work really hard off the ball.”

One positive for Watford is that Bevans said there is a “good chance” that talismanic striker Michelle Agyemang will have shaken off the injury that has ruled out of the last three games.

Before that, the on-loan Arsenal youngster had scored five and assisted three goals in her previous five appearances.