Beppe Sannino dismissed the suggestion Watford struggle to defend set-pieces but did accept the decision to play with a high defensive line against Bolton Wanderers contributed to their downfall yesterday.

Watford failed to defend several set-piece opportunities in the first half at the Reebok Stadium before they were finally punished in the 35th minute by Lukas Jutkiewicz.

When Sannino was asked whether the Hornets work on defending set-pieces because it has been a perceived long-term problem, the head coach replied: “Sorry I disagree a little bit with you.

"In terms of goals conceded, yes we did concede today from a set-piece and also at Reading I think but I can’t remember many goals conceded [from set pieces].

"Also you know we were in a position where we have not conceded a lot of goals.

“When we prepare for games we prepare trying to avoid conceding from all situations; from set plays and open play. When you analyse a game, you need to have a bigger picture.”

Bolton’s second goal came after Joe Mason was slipped in behind the Hornets’ high defensive line, which, like the first goal, had happened on several occasions beforehand.

Watford had only scored twice in their previous three games and Sannino said the decision to play with a higher line was aimed at improving their attacking threat.

He said: “I told the players before the game that we needed to win an away game and we chose to play higher because we wanted to create more chances and opportunities going forward.

"But I think this was a problem because we conceded a lot of space behind our [defenders’] shoulders and that allowed them to cause us a lot of problems.”

Listen to Sannino's press conference in full below.