Beppe Sannino says Doncaster Rovers deserved their 2-1 victory over his Watford side tonight but believes the starting XI he picked was strong enough to win the Capital One Cup second round tie.
The Golden Boys head coach made nine changes to his side and recalled Lloyd Dyer and Lewis McGugan to the starting line-up.
After Nathan Tyson had fired Rovers in front from the penalty spot, Dyer thumped home an equaliser on the half hour mark.
However, the Hornets were poor in the second period and struggled to create a clear chance.
They fell behind when Liam Wakefield converted from close range and it proved enough to seal Doncaster’s passage into the third round.
Sannino admitted he was disappointed after the contest and said: “We can’t speak too much about this game because Doncaster played better than us and they deserved to win.
“I gave a chance to all the players. Before the match I spoke with them and I said ‘you have to put me in a difficult position when it comes to picking my next starting XI.’
“For me, tonight, I was disappointed. We had a lot of fans here at Vicarage Road tonight and they deserved another match, a spectacular show.”
When asked if the starting XI was good enough to defeat Rovers, Sannino replied: “Yes. We must win. But in football, this sport is very unique because the result is never exact.
“To win you need to run more than the opponent and you need to play better than the opponent. Tonight Doncaster deserved to win this match because they played better.”
Sannino said he was “a little bit happy” because of the effort shown by his players during the match but added: “Tonight we needed the other qualities that we didn’t see on the pitch.”
Watford started the contest in a 3-5-2 formation but quickly switched to a 4-3-3 system once they fell behind.
It allowed Dyer to move forward from wing-back to his favoured position as an attacking winger and he netted the equaliser soon after.
“I watched Dyer so far in this position (as wing-back) and changed the system to 4-3-3. I put Dyer in a more advanced position,” Sannino explained.
“I am happy for him (Dyer) but I have to watch all the players; everybody. I am not a gaffer for just one or two players.
“I put players on the pitch that I watch every week and every day and I pick the best players for me. This is the job of the gaffer.”
One of the few positives from the game was the performance of Diego Fabbrini.
The Italian was introduced with 15 minutes remaining and attempted to liven up the Hornets attack. He tried to commit opposition defenders to tackles and drew several fouls.
On his display, Sannino said: “Fabbrini is a better player when we are being positive. It was important we put Fabbrini on the pitch.
“We will forget this match. This mentality is needed.”