Beppe Sannino apologised to the Watford supporters who made the trip to Derby County and questioned the commitment shown by his players during the 4-2 defeat.

The Hornets were fortunate to go into half-time level after a terrible showing but The Rams went on to secure a deserved 4-2 victory which could have been by a far greater margin.

Sannino claimed his team were “still in London” following Monday’s narrow defeat to Queens Park Rangers which he believes was the best performance of his reign. He suggested today’s 4-2 loss to Derby may have been the worst.

When asked if today’s opening 45 minutes was the worst during his time at Watford, Sannino responded: “Yes you anticipated me. But I would disagree with you in that it was not only the first half.

“I think Watford are still in London today, when on Monday I said it was the best performance of my regime.

“For today’s performance I have to say sorry to all the supporters who came here today.”

On the difference between the two showings this week, he said: “Sometimes football is like that; you have a good performance and then a performance like this which is really bad. It is football.

“What is very disappointing for me is that we didn’t show the right anger today to win this game - because we knew we had a small chance to achieve the play-offs.”

However, he did stress: “Yes we needed a good performance to try to reach the play-offs but not only because of that. I am looking for a good finish to assess which players can help us next season and to have good commitment towards the club and our supporters.”

Watford responded to the sending off of Marco Cassetti on 68 minutes, when the score was 2-1 to Derby, by scoring the equaliser two minutes later despite being down to ten men.

But Sannino said: “For me – and this is a key point – football players are professionals and I expect my players to have the best commitment ever, whether they have 11 men, ten men or nine. If you saw a reaction [after the sending off], then it is normal. But the game was another story.”

That prompted a question about whether he believed his team did lack commitment at the iPro Stadium this afternoon.

“I would like to speak about the match. This kind of thing should be resolved in the dressing room,” he replied.

Read a match report from today’s game here.

Derby manager Steve McClaren's views on the match can be read here.