Troy Deeney hailed outgoing head coach Quique Sanchez Flores after Watford ended an impressive Premier League season with a 2-2 draw at home to Sunderland.
It was announced on Friday that Flores would not stay on at Vicarage Road, despite guiding the club through a comfortable campaign in which relegation never realistically looked on the cards.
Watford twice fell behind to goals from Jack Rodwell and Jeremain Lens, but earned a point courtesy of Sebastian Prodl’s header and Deeney’s spot-kick – his 13th league goal of the season.
“It was entertaining for the neutral, end to end, but our final decision-making wasn’t great,” Deeney said.
“It’s an occasion for the gaffer, he’s had an excellent season, obviously they’ve decided to part ways and we respect that.
“The mantra at the start of the season was to stay up so fair play to him and this was the send-off he deserved.
“We’ll take that [13th place], that’s possibly the highest of the teams that came up.
“It is a success. Hindsight is a beautiful thing but overall it’s a great experience, he’s brought me on a lot as a player and a person so nothing but gratitude from myself.
“His CV is going to be the highest it’s been because he’s had an excellent season.
“We’ve seemingly coasted this season, we’ve never flirted with relegation and our gaffer’s been sacked so it’s one of those crazy ones.”