Watford broke their frustrating habit of squandering leads by holding on to a 1-0 advantage against Birmingham City last night but head coach Beppe Sannino believes the issue is not yet resolved.

The Hornets boss told the Watford Observer on Monday his players need to be cleverer and communicate more if they are to avoid a repeat of matches against Nottingham Forest, Manchester City and Leicester City when Watford failed to win after being 2-0 ahead.

Birmingham created little at Vicarage Road but almost nicked an equaliser at the death when a long ball was launched into Watford’s box and Will Packwood narrowly missed with a flicked header.

It was a nervy final few minutes in an otherwise uneventful match and when asked if he was happier with how Watford handled being in front, Sannino’s answer was mixed.

“Yes and no,” he replied, “yes and no.

“I think when you start to feel fear about the result, it means you are also lacking in terms of strength and that means you can concede to the opposition.

“I think we can still improve this side of our game but we need more time to work and until now we haven’t had as much time as I’d have liked.

“It is like a short blanket – if you pull it up, there is a problem at the feet, if you pull it down, there is a problem at the head. We can certainly still improve.”

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