Watford interim coach Mullins insists players are only focused on next game

Hayden Mullins insists Watford’s players are focused on Wednesday’s game at Leicester and not the identity of their next manager.

Hornets Under-23 coach Mullins has taken first-team training alongside Graham Stack since the sacking of Quique Sanchez Flores.

The Spaniard’s second spell at Vicarage Road came to an end on Sunday after just 85 days, with their 2-1 weekend defeat at Southampton leaving rock bottom Watford six points from Premier League safety.

Sanchez Flores’ successor will be Watford’s third manager of the campaign as Javi Gracia was sacked in September four games into the season.

“I think the perception of modern players is so wrong, because they’re so professional and so focused,” interim head coach Mullins told the official club website.

“They’re not thinking about the next guy to come in, they’re thinking about Leicester and getting a positive result.

“Honestly, working with them the past couple of days, the professionalism of the players has been first class, and the focus and drive is on how they can work together as a side to try to get a result.”

Watford have won only once in the league this season, a 2-0 victory at Norwich on November 8.

And Mullins has a hard task to mastermind a second success as Leicester have won seven consecutive games in all competitions.

But talismanic striker Troy Deeney is available and could start for the first time since mid-August following knee surgery.

“Troy is fit, he’s trained the last two days and been in with the group. He’s got no issues, so he’s available,” Mullins said.

“We’ve got no new injuries at the moment so we’re the same as we were at the weekend against Southampton.

“Craig Dawson is still missing, he hasn’t trained, and (Christian) Kabasele has only trained for the first time so he is another who won’t be available. But it’s the same as before.”

Former Brighton boss Hughton is the current front-runner to succeed Sanchez Flores.

The 60-year-old has been out of work since being sacked by the Seagulls at the end of last term and is thought to be eager for a top-flight return having reportedly turned down approaches from Championship clubs.

Sam Allardyce, Paul Clement and former Real Betis boss Quique Setien have also been linked with the position.

“The players have been absolutely fantastic and the response and how they have reacted has been first class,” Mullins said.

“I just want to say they’ve been excellent, they’ve trained really well and it’s a really good work ethic.

“The boys are working hard, and they have responded fantastically well.

“I’m really happy with what we’ve done in the last couple of days and I’m just waiting to see what happens at Leicester.”