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Mullins aims to bring feelgood factor back to Watford

Interim Watford head coach Hayden Mullins hopes to be able to bring the feelgood factor back to Vicarage Road against Crystal Palace.

The Hornets are continuing the search for a successor to Quique Sanchez Flores, who was the club’s second manager to be sacked this season.

Under-23s coach Mullins has stepped in on a temporary basis, alongside Graham Stack, overseeing the first-team squad for the midweek defeat at Leicester.

Watford suffered a club-record 11th consecutive home league loss when beaten by Burnley after returning to action following the international break.

Mullins knows if the team is to stand any chance of dragging themselves back up the table, that run cannot continue.

“Palace are a side in form, but we are going to try to start with a high tempo,” Mullins said.

“We know we need to start fast. If we give the fans something to cheer about then they will be with us and we need them.

“We know it is a game we need to attack and get the fans going and loud with the team.

“We have to try to get positivity throughout the whole stadium.”

Initial talks over the permanent job reported to involve the likes of Chris Hughton and Paul Clement, while Sam Allardyce and former Real Betis boss Quique Setien have also been linked with the vacancy.

It has also been suggested the club could instead look to leave Mullins at the helm until the end of the season, having previously sacked Javi Gracia in September.

The 40-year-old former Palace midfielder is a popular figure among Watford’s first-team squad, but is taking this one match at a time.

“When you do your badges and you retire you want to stay in the game because you love the game,” Mullins said at a press conference broadcast on club media.

“When you work in the game in a first-team environment as a player, you kind of understand how it is and what it looks like.

“When you start out and coach you use that in your plans towards the first team.

“At the moment it’s me working with the first team.

“I have been coaching (at the club) for a while, with the under-23s and the academy, now stepping up to the first team is a really good challenge and one I am enjoying.”

Mullins added: “The support from the players is brilliant, but we are just trying to prepare for Crystal Palace.

“We need every player pulling in the same direction.”