Watford youth coach Dave Hughes admits it was "really disappointing" to lose 6-1 to Reading in the Under-21 Premier League Cup on Friday but believes the defeat is a "good lesson" for the young Hornets.
Reading took a 1-0 lead into half-time of the last 16 tie thanks to Craig Tanner and the Royals were three up before the hour through Tarique Fosu-Henry and Tanner's second.
An own-goal gave the Hornets temporary hope but Tanner's third and two late finishes from Gozie Ugwu completed the rout.
“It’s a really good lesson for the young lads that the minor details make the biggest difference," Hughes told the official club website.
“There were a couple of minor details we tried to influence at half-time which we felt would stand us in good stead, but the biggest disappointment was that we ended up asking the lads, how many of the goals did Reading actually have to work for?
“There were individual mistakes for the first four goals – make no mistake they’ve got some good players and they punished those mistakes and we found ourselves 3-0 down.
“At 3-0 I thought the lads showed great character to come back to 3-1, stay in the game and try and get a second.
"We had a real good chance from a corner where we just needed to get contact on the ball four yards out, but it’s really disappointing to have conceded six.
Watford miss out on a quarter-final against Wolverhampton Wanderers but having beaten Bristol Rovers, Plymouth Argyle and Swansea City in the tournament, Hughes insists the competition has been of benefit to the players' development.
“Overall it was disappointing but the journey of the Under-21 Cup this year has been magnificent for them," he added.
“It’s been a great experience for the young players so we’ll try to ensure that they learn from it and put it to good use as they try and develop further.”
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