The Hornets host Nottingham Forest on Saturday hoping to take advantage of the Reds poor away form and end their own run of below-par results.
"I have been in the division long enough to know the ebb and flow of it and how you can go on a winning run or a losing run," Mackay told the Watford Observer. "It is all about resilience and sticking together. Take the plaudits together and stick together when times are tougher.
"I have a group of players sitting ninth at the moment and a lot of people are surprised by where we are but we have to make sure we keep working hard and working honestly."
The previous meeting between the two sides ended in a goalless draw at Vicarage Road on Boxing Day last year.