Former Watford striker Luther Blissett believes the Hornets' current crop of players have to take responsibility for the departure of manager Adrian Boothroyd.
Boothroyd left the Coca-Cola Championship club on Monday after a past disastrous 12 months at Vicarage Road, with the Hornets picking up just 12 wins in the last 50 league matches to fall from promotion certainties to relegation strugglers.
Blissett told Setanta Sports News: "They started this season and their form has been up and down. They've just not been able to maintain results; they've conceded some awful goals. The manager is ultimately the one that gets the chop because of it but the players out there on the pitch have to go out and perform."
He added: "The results over the past year have not been the best for him.
"They started last season so well that you thought automatic promotion is an absolute certainty and that didn't go to plan."
Failure to return to the top flight last season has resulted in drastic cutbacks at Vicarage Road with Nathan Ellington, Darius Henderson, Jordan Stewart and Danny Shittu all leaving the club.
Rebuilding work at the stadium also ground to a halt during the summer as chairman Graham Simpson refused to allow the club to plunge into financial turmoil.
The club are in the second and final season of parachute payments from the Premier League and have trimmed expenditure accordingly.
There is unlikely to be funding in place for the new manager to considerably strengthen his squad while speculation already surrounds the future of key midfielders Tommy Smith and John-Joe O'Toole and Blissett has questioned the level of investment by the club's current owners.
He said: "A lot of people have been asking 'Where has all the money gone at the football club?' You think of the players that have left the club and the money that would have come in from that and realistically, what of that have Watford spent?"
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