Watford manager Walter Mazzarri is facing a possible player revolt after the intensive nature of his training sessions was named as a possible primary reason for the club's faltering league form.
The Hornets have fallen alarmingly close to the Premier League relegation zone after picking up just one win in their last eight encounters, and the Daily Mirror now claims that Watford's first-team squad are ready to plead with Mazzarri to rein in his brutal training sessions at the club's Hertfordshire-based training base.
Watford are currently without five first-team squad members due to injury, and have been hit by further reductions in playing staff due to Adlene Guedioura's and Nordin Amrabat's respective Algeria and Tunisia international call-ups for the Africa Cup of Nations this month.
Coupled with reports of other stars feeling jaded after a number of gruelling training regimes during the first half of the 2016/17 campaign, Watford fans would be right to begin fearing the worst as the season enters its second half.
Mazzarri himself could become concerned over his future as Hornets manager, particularly given the temperamental tendency for Watford's owners - the Pozzo family - to hire and fire football bosses on a whim, but the Italian remained defiant over his role at the club following Watford's 2-0 defeat to Stoke City on Monday.
He said: "I don't feel under pressure because I speak with the owner every day. We know what our objective is and we're not only looking at the next five or six matches, we are looking at the next three years.
"When you look at all the injuries we have, it is difficult to get results in the Premier League. Now we have to take this occasion to look and work for the future. The important thing is to keep fighting for the next games. I liked the way our fans behaved because they understood the moment we're in and they supported us until the end and this is very important for us."
Mazzarri has the option of resting key personnel in the upcoming Emirates FA Cup third round home tie against Burton Albion on Saturday, but it is Watford's league form that the ex-Inter Milan boss will ultimately be judged on.
Watford had begun the season in decent form as they picked up 15 points in their opening 10 matches. However, the Hornets have been in freefall ever since they suffered a 6-1 humiliation away at Liverpool on November 6, and have picked up just seven points since then.
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