Quique Sanchez Flores has backed Remi Garde’s decision to punish Jack Grealish, while the Watford boss is not underestimating Aston Villa.
Villa boss Garde has ordered Grealish to train with the club’s Under-21s for the foreseeable future after he was seen visiting a Manchester nightclub just hours after Villa’s 4-0 defeat to Everton last weekend.
Flores thinks Garde had little choice but to punish 20-year-old Grealish, who has attracted unwanted headlines on several occasions this year.
Grealish was warned about his off-field behaviour in April by then Villa boss Tim Sherwood after being pictured apparently taking nitrous oxide. In June he was in trouble again after photographs taken during a Tenerife holiday were published appearing to show him lying flat out in the street.
“I understand the decision of the coach,” said Flores ahead of Watford’s trip to Villa Park on Saturday.
“When I was playing, when I was coaching sometimes these younger players need to make mistakes, they need to learn about these mistakes.”
Flores is not underestimating bottom of the table Villa.
“Sometimes people say to me this match is like six points but, for me, every match is the same importance.
“I’m not preparing the match against Man United thinking that we are going to lose and of course I am not preparing the matches against Aston Villa or Sunderland thinking because they are in the bottom this is different.”
Despite their current poor run Villa are unbeaten in their last eight meetings with Watford at Villa Park and Flores is in no mood to write them off.
“We know Aston Villa. I think they have very good players, at this moment they do not have confidence but we know that they have the potential to win at any moment. We try to be clever, we try to not underestimate the match.
“The stadium is a very very tough stadium to win there so we have to prepare very well because if not we have the opportunity to lose.”
Watford have conceded a league high 86% of their goals in the second half and, after losing 2-1 against Manchester United to a the last minute goal, Flores has been working on his players to keep them motivated.
“I don’t think Aston Villa is any different to Manchester United,” he said. “The crowd will be strong, the team might change this mentality because they have to be positive and go and try to smash our team.
“For me every match is very difficult and very important. I tell the players not to underestimate and if we win next Saturday of course we are going to celebrate like Arsenal, Chelsea and other teams.”