Youth team coach Dave Hughes insists his academy players were honest about their below-par performance after a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Northampton on Saturday.

Bernard Mensah grabbed a late consolation for the Hornets but it was too little too late after Watford had already conceded three goals.

Hughes though says the players knew their display hadn't been up to scratch and believes they need to concentrate on their preparation.

“I can’t fault the players’ reaction. They were honest,” Hughes said.

“They knew the performance wasn't up to what we expect as a group. They came off the pitch disappointed, and it’s important for us now to realise why we’re disappointed, and take that into our next game.

“We’ll look at the way we prepared for the Northampton game, and see if maybe we can improve mentally."