Watford boss Nigel Pearson accuses players of being 'passengers' after West Ham loss

A 3-1 defeat to Hammers pushes Watford closer to relegation trap door with only two matches remaining

Watford manager Nigel Pearson described some of his players as "passengers" in their meek defeat to West Ham United on Friday and said that he expects better from them in their final games if they hope to avoid being relegated.

Pearson could hardly contain his dismay as West Ham roared into a three-goal lead inside 36 minutes at the London Stadium with goals by Michail Antonio, Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice.

Troy Deeney scored a consolation just after half time but by then the damage was already done.

The Hornets remain three points above Aston Villa and Bournemouth, the sides in 18th and 19th place.

Hopes of survival will hardly be improved by the fixture list, with Watford's last two games at home to Manchester City and away at Arsenal.

"We had passengers tonight which is disappointing at this stage of the season," said Pearson.

"The second half was much improved but the game had passed us by. It's annoying and disappointing. Now we have to find another one or two good results from our remaining games.

"The performance in the first half was very disappointing and I would expect better from our players."

Pearson knows not all is lost after seeing Leicester City to safety in the 2014/15 season with the Foxes bottom of the table in March, before being sacked and replaced by Italian Claudio Ranieri.

Pearson was also assistant to Bryan Robson at West Bromwich Albion when they survived on the last day of the 2004/05 season.

Initially, his arrival at Watford sparked an incredible turnaround, with four wins in his first seven games after taking over from Spaniard Quique Sanchez Flores. They also became the first team to beat Liverpool in the league this season in February, just before the coronavirus lockdown.

They have won twice since the Premier League restart but defeat by West Ham has left them in the mire.

Updated: July 18, 2020 10:29 AM

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