Watford defender Christian Kabasele has branded this season “a waste” and said the club deserves to be where they are because of their performances.

The Belgian defender was forthright in his assessment of the campaign so far, with the Hornets languishing in second bottom and said that their inability to build on last season’s successes of reaching the FA Cup final and achieving their highest ever Premier League performance was not good enough and that the players simply had not done their jobs.

“Yes, it’s a waste. We can say it’s a waste,” he said.

“When you play in an FA Cup final and you make the best finish of Watford in the league, the next season being involved in the relegation zone, it’s a waste. There’s nothing to hide in this. We didn’t do our job, it’s as simple as that.

“Okay, maybe in one, two or three games you can speak about being unlucky with the decisions, maybe the VAR, with injuries in some moments, but when you look back at 26 games, we are 19th, we deserve to be there. Now we still have 12 games to change our situation and as I said, it’s difficult, really tough, but not impossible.”

Those 12 games begin on Sunday away at Manchester United, and Watford are keen to right the wrongs of the last three matches in which they took the lead, only to let it slip.

In fact, the Hornets have dropped 17 points from winning positions so far this season and Kabasele said that was a result of the team not showing the right mindset after conceding goals.

“Maybe in some moments we scored goals, one or two goals, and after when the opponent scored we just said to ourselves, ‘we cannot concede another one’ but it’s not the mindset that you have to have in the game,” he said.

“When you concede a goal you need to stay on the front foot and not have a mental knock every time like this. We have tried to work on it, but it’s not an easy one. I’m sure we’ll do better in the next games.

“It’s difficult because the most difficult thing in football is to score a goal and in the last games we did it but we took no wins and I don’t know if it’s a mental thing or whatever, but we should have won at least one of these games. We need to work on it to be more focused and to not let the wins go like this so easily.”

The team will go into Sunday’s game buoyed by the return of injured players Ismaila Sarr and Kiko Femenia, who both played important parts in the club’s revival following the appointment of Nigel Pearson.

The Hornets are also playing for the first time in two weeks following the Premier League’s first ever winter break, which Kabasele said was beneficial for the team and helped them put their negativity behind them, something which he also feels the head coach can help with.

“It’s been really good for everyone, I think we changed our mindset,” he said.

“When you don’t have any winter break, you are 24 hours, seven days a week focused on your football, especially in this difficult moment. We needed this fresh mindset, so we are all fresh, we are almost all fit to go now to give everything that we have for the last games.

“Pearson has a lot of experience in these situations, so we will work with him and we will rely on him to give us the extra maybe 10 or 20 per cent to try to put this mental negativity behind us and try to give 100 per cent and try to win all the 12 games remaining.”