Sannino is a tactician who insists on his team being well organised and prepared heading into matches.
The experienced coach doesn't like to change formation unless his players have time to work on it. The squad had not tried the 3-4-2-1 system used at the Etihad prior to last Monday but the Italian and his squad seemingly used the five days wisely as they deservedly led 2-0 at half-time.
City went on to equalise with 12 minutes remaining and then grabbed two late goals following mistakes from young goalkeeper Jonathan Bond.
Doyley said: "Yes [you could see Sannino's coaching style against City]. In the first half we were very compact, very structured, we all knew what we were doing and then he gave us the freedom to do what we wanted in the attacking third. That showed with Fernando Forestieri and Troy Deeney flicking balls around the corner and the players were allowed to do what they wanted in attack. But he does want us to be more solid."
"The formation worked really well," Doyley continued. "We knew we were coming up against a good team and we knew we had to stop them from playing.
"We work on formations every day of the week and our manager likes to be organised, he likes a structured team, with everyone knowing what they are doing, and in the first half I think that showed.
"In the second half we got a little bit tired and they put us under pressure, going up a couple of notches, which made it difficult for us."
Sannino has already started winning over the Hornets supporters due to his passion, which is clearly evident on a match day.
The experienced coach is keen for his team to continually show more fight - "to play for the town, the supporters and the club".
Doyley said: "As you can see from him on the touchline, he is vocal and passionate – he loves to run up the touchline to get his message across and that is what he is like in training.
"He wants us to be passionate, he wants us to be hungry and show a bit of anger on the field. That is how he is as a man as well."
City have only lost once at home this season and that was against European champions Bayern Munich.
So Watford leading 2-0 until the final half an hour was an excellent achievement and there were lots of positives to take from the performance.
But Doyley admits: "Obviously coming up against Manchester City and how they have been playing – beating everyone 4-0, 5-0 – means it is not a bad result but I am a little bit disappointed.
"In the first half we came out and put them under a lot of pressure and they couldn’t cope with our counter-attacks. We went 2-0 up but it could have been more."
It was an afternoon when everyone associated with Watford impressed; the head coach, players and also the supporters.
There were 3,352 away fans at the Etihad and they were continuously heard over the 43,000 City followers.
And Doyley acknowledged their support, saying: "I am sure the fans had a great day as well. It is not every week that we get to play at a nice stadium like this.
"Going 2-0 up helped lift them and that got us up for the game that bit more. Even at 4-2, they were still singing our names.
"I think we had 3,300 fans here today and they helped us massively. You could hear our section more than the other 40,000-plus Manchester City fans.
"We need that every game so let’s have a lot more of that."
Click here to read deputy sports editor Frank Smith's comment on how Watford's new formation showed what Sannino could do in a short space of time.