Nigel Pearson says he has seen nothing to suggest Watford’s players are not up for the challenge of fighting for Premier League survival.
The beleaguered Hornets sit bottom of the table, six points from safety, and have not won at home all season ahead of Sunday’s visit of Manchester United.
Manager Pearson is preparing to take charge of his first match at Vicarage Road since succeeding the sacked Quique Sanchez Flores a fortnight ago.
The 56-year-old, who began his tenure with a 2-0 loss at leaders Liverpool, has been encouraged by the attitude of his new squad.
“We’ve had a good couple of weeks training and I have to say the application in training has been excellent, really, really excellent,” he said on Watford’s website.
“We know we are in a very difficult situation, but I’ve seen nothing to suggest the players are not up for the challenge.
“We’ve got some really good, technically-gifted players here.
“What we’ve got to do, especially at home, is establish some sort of momentum during a performance which builds pressure on opponents.”
Watford’s last league success on home soil came more than eight months ago, a 4-1 win over Fulham on April 2 under former manager Javi Gracia.
Gracia led the team to May’s FA Cup final but he and his replacement Sanchez Flores have since been dispensed with during the struggles of this term.
Former Leicester, Hull and Derby boss Pearson, who has initially taken over until the end of the season, is under no illusions about the difficulty of the task facing the club.
“The statistics don’t paint a false picture,” he said.
“We know we are in a very difficult situation… and we’ve got to start winning points. That’s the bottom line.
“While it’s mathematically possible, it allows you to keep working in the most positive way.
“We are fully aware of the danger we are in, the precarious nature of our status if we don’t rectify it sooner rather than later.”