Despite getting relegated to the Championship, Watford managed to keep hold of most of their team, barring a few exceptions.
The likes of Gerard Deulofeu and Abdoulaye Doucouré may have decided to go find greener pastures, but players like Christian Kabasele stuck around, hoping to help the club go straight back up to England’s top-tier.
Eleven games in, and Watford are in the right area of the table, currently on a two game winning streak in second place, one point behind leaders Reading.
For a player like Kabasele, there’s a question of his pride being hurt, as he’s a player used to the top level, having picked up Belgium caps in the past.
Speaking to DH, he didn’t mince his words when the topic of last season’s relegation came up.
He said: “Going down, it’s the biggest failure of my career. With the team we had, it was unimaginable to get relegated, but we didn’t show on the pitch that we deserved to stay up. I needed time to digest”.
That being said, he hasn’t given up on his dream of returning to the Belgium squad, especially with Roberto Martínez keeping an eye on him and his progress with the Hornets.
Kabasele explained: “I spoke to him when the season started. He made me understand the door wasn’t closed. The fact that I get pre-selected still gives me even more motivation, the strength to continue to try and come back in the national team in the future”.
As for the chances of returning to the Premier League, Kabasele is hopeful, although he made it clear the club couldn’t fall in the same trap as last year.
He explained: “On paper, as things stand, we’ve probably got the strongest core in the Championship. It’s good to have that on paper, but we need to show it on the pitch for 46 games. It’s not the same playing as a favourite, you need to deal with pressure differently. If we don’t go back up at the end of the season, we’ll only have each other to blame”.