While the overall Watford performance on Saturday had shades of ‘on the beach’ about it, Tom Cleverley is certainly not getting the flip-flops out or putting a knotted handkerchief on his head.

The head coach has a couple of weeks of intensive work and meetings ahead of him at the training ground as he prepares not just for his first full season in the job, but also for pre-season and building his squad.

“This week is all about meeting with each department in the club to plan how we attack it next season and then from the start of June we’ll be gearing back up,” he said.

“I’ll try and get a couple of weeks off at the end of May but my phone will always be on anyway.

“I’ll collaborate with the board and the recruitment team, along with my staff, on where we need to strengthen.

“We also obviously have two loan players and two out of contract players, and they are some of the things that the meetings will include.

“If we can keep one or two of our more important players, and add a bit of youth and excitement on loan then I feel like I’ll have the tools.

“But we’ll be keeping our feet firmly on the ground and we know we have to improve to be in the mix.

“Let the dust settle on this last defeat and then we’ll start planning for next season.”

Cleverley made it clear when he first became interim head coach that he felt uncomfortable with Watford now playing at a level lower than when he joined.

“I’ve said that I joined the club as a player when we were 16th or 17th in the Premier League and it didn’t sit right with me retiring when we were in the league below.

“I’ll give everything that I possibly can to get us where we want to be.”

With two Premier League relegation places still to be decided, as well as a League One play-off, the composition of the 2024/25 Championship is still to be finalised.

“You can never predict this league,” said Cleverley.

“Who would have said Ipswich would be where they are, and there can always be surprise packages.

“It is the most difficult league in the world to be successful in, and you have to have consistency. It is the key to doing it.

“When I got promoted as a player four years ago I don’t think we were the best team in the league but we were probably the most consistent.

“It would be very naïve to say next season will be any easier in this league, but it is fair to say this season the league has been particularly strong.

“Preparing for the games I’ve had recently, the quality of the opposition has your head spinning at times.”