Troy Deeney branded a reporter a “cheeky b******” after he was questioned whether he would be retiring following Watford’s relegation to the Championship.
The 32-year-old Hornets skipper scored a penalty on the final day but could not help his side beat the drop as they were defeated 3-2 at Arsenal.
He admitted he may have played his last game for the club following their relegation, before he was quizzed whether he would hang up his boots entirely by a Sky Sports reporter.
“I’m not that old you cheeky b******,” Deeney said lightheartedly, before adding: “Sorry, sorry.”
Talisman Deeney will have a knee operation next week after being patched up to play on the run-in.
But as Watford fell just short of survival in a dramatic encounter at the Emirates, their long-serving captain admitted: “If it is my time to go, it’s my time to go.”
Deeney scored his 133rd goal for the club but, just 14 months after playing in the FA Cup final, Watford’s defeat at Arsenal dumped them back in the Championship.
Owner Gino Pozzo and chairman Scott Duxbury’s first task is to find their fourth head coach in 11 months after the ludicrous sacking of Nigel Pearson, with just two games to go, backfired.
Deeney said: “This is a reflection of the whole year. Not quite been good enough. Heartbreaking for the people who work behind the scenes and we feel sorry for them.
“The club from top to bottom will need to do an audit because sacking three managers in one season means we haven’t got it right.
“Something went wrong – is that managers, is that players is it ownership? We need to audit that and go through it all to see what went wrong.
“I will take the stick on social media but the harsh reality is people will lose their jobs because we haven’t been good enough.
“As a club and as a community, we will go again. But ultimately, we have not been good enough, no point tap-dancing around it.
“The whole top to bottom will do an audit and reassess. We can’t say we got it right because we failed.
“The bigger picture is for fans and people at clubs because they will be here longer than players. They will be hurt and annoyed. I don’t know if this will be my last game for Watford.
“I will be having a knee operation next week. Clubs can can go in different directions and players can. If that is my last game, I am happy I went out on my shield.
“Did I go out and do everything I could? Yes. Was it good enough? No. I have been here 10 years, if it is my time to go, it is my time to go.”
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