Rotherham United manager Paul Warne conceded that his side gave themselves too much to do, after conceding twice in the opening 15 minutes at Vicarage Road.
Goals from Christian Kabalese and Troy Deeney inside the opening quarter of the match gave Watford a commanding two goal lead on home soil and despite a spirited response from the Millers, that is how the game ended.
Warne stressed that while he was disappointed with the outcome of the game, he was encouraged by the overall display from his side.
“Obviously, I didn’t like the start of the game and I’m hugely disappointed with the two goals we conceded. I thought Watford started the game really strongly but the lads rallied really well and we grew into the game but the start killed us,” Warne explained.
“I was really proud of the performance and I said to the lads that if we play like we did for 70 minutes of that game we will get results. Icky (Michael Ihiekwe) had a chance in the second half, Crooksy (Matt Crooks) was outstanding, as were Wilsey (Ben Wiles) and Vass (Kyle Vassell).
“There were some good performances tonight, I’m disappointed with the result but not the performance.
“The two goals were hugely disappointing to concede, it wasn’t like we were cut open. It was a slashed clearance and a set-piece which is hugely disappointing from a management point of view but I can’t knock their effort.”
The Millers created a number of opportunities in the second half as they searched for a way back into the game, pressing their opponents high up the pitch to force them into making errors, something which pleased the manager.
“We thought the three centre-halves were quite happy to let the others do the running in the first half, so we asked them to be a little bit braver, this allowed us to get higher up the pitch and press them in better areas.
“In the first half we didn’t release the ball quick enough and it gave us more problems than we caused, but we caused them more issues in the second period which was encouraging.”