Watford boss Marco Silva has insisted that Everton's reported interest is not the cause of his side's poor form after the Hornets suffered a 1-0 loss at the hands of Brighton on Saturday - making it six games without a win.
Silva had his side firing on all cylinders at the start of the season, but after being mooted as a top candidate for the Toffee's vacant manager position last month the Hornets have collected just one point from an available 18.
However, Silva dismissed any suggestion that the speculation surrounding his future has caused Watford's dip in form, instead contributing it to injuries and suspensions which have plagued his side.
Following the defeat at the Amex Stadium, Silva told Sky Sports: "It doesn't make sense this comparison. Nothing changed in the club.
"Today we had one game to prepare with three players banned, with five or six players injured. At this moment we have big problems to find the solutions for our starting XI.
"We need to find these solutions as soon as possible because it's a lot of games in a row and it's not easy to make the rotation, it's not easy to start the game with our best XI.
"Of course, it's not an excuse because the players that played this afternoon, they have quality as well and it's the moment for them to show it. Now is the moment for us to react as a team.
The Hornets struggled to make an impact against Brighton, and fell to defeat after Heurelho Gomes was partly at fault for allowing Pascal Groß's strike to skid under him.
Silva did not lay blame on his skipper however, rather labelling his sides entire performance as poor as he added: "It's football - what Gomes did until now, he was very, very good in a very good level.
"In some moments, he saved and did fantastic things for our team."I'm clear, it's not because of Gomes that we lost the game. We didn't perform well today. We didn't score and they won."