Beppe Sannino admitted he was surprised by Watford’s poor performance at Derby County and believes his team “could learn things” from The Rams ahead of next season.

Third-placed Derby beat the Golden Boys 4-2 yesterday and it should have been by a far greater margin.

It came after a fine showing against Queens Park Rangers on Monday which Sannino believes was the best performance of his reign.

“No of course [I didn’t expect Watford to be so bad]. I thought we would do much better today,” Sannino said.

“But I do have to compliment Derby because they deserve to be where they are in the table. We could learn things from them today and put it into practice next season.

“We should never hide what the opposition deserve.”

He may have conceded four goals but Jonathan Bond was the Hornets’ best player at the iPro Stadium.

And Sannino said: “It is a shame for Jonathan that he conceded four goals today because he was very good and was ready.”

Bond played because Manuel Almunia was out with an Achilles injury.

The Hornets captain was joined by two of the club’s most influential players; Almen Abdi and Gabriele Angella, who both had knee problems.

Sannino refused to discuss whether he thought the result – and performance – would have improved had Angella and Abdi been fit.

He said: “In my entire career, I am only watching the players available for selection. I am sorry for Almunia, Angella, Abdi and (Fernando) Forestieri but the best players for me are the ones who are selected for the match.

“The players who played today could start every match so I can’t blame them [injuries]. Injuries are part of the game. If you miss players who are in form then it is part of the game.”

You can listen to Sannino’s post-match press conference below and more of his comments can be read here.

An injury update from head of medical Marco Cesarini will be uploaded later today.