Craig Cathcart has warned against complacency as Watford look to avoid being dragged into an end of season relegation battle.
A 1-0 loss against Crystal Palace, which came via a Troy Deeney own-goal, saw the Hornets suffer their fourth winless Premier League game on the bounce.
With a seven point gap to the bottom three, Watford’s fate is still very much in their own hands with 10 games left to play, but Cathcart says the club must look to turn a corner swiftly.
“You can’t afford to be complacent,” the Northern Ireland international said. “The league has been a bit strange this year, so we know any team can cause an upset.
“We can’t afford to drop too many points and we need to pick up and get a few wins on the board.
“We have to take each game as it comes, we have 31 points and want to get to that 40-point mark as soon as possible. The next few games will be massive for us.”
The visit of bottom of the table Sunderland to Vicarage Road in a two weeks’ time provides an eminently winnable game for the Hornets in their next league outing.
Watford could even survive by default, with the consensus being that the form of sides closer the drop zone will ensure the Hornets avoid relegation.
Nonetheless, they will want to improve on the limp showing in South London, which saw Walter Mazzarri’s side muster just one shot on target.
They would still have been disappointed to have been left empty handed, and Cathcart insisted a draw would have been a fair result.
He said: “It is disappointing not to come away with something. I think Palace were up for the game, as we were, and I think a draw would have been a fair reflection.
“It was a difficult goal to concede. We need to pick ourselves up now and move on.”
A defensive approach saw Cathcart, a centre-back by trade, shift to the right-side of a back four which featured no recognised full-backs.
He was given a testing afternoon against the direct Wilfried Zaha but grew to the task and says he is happy to be involved again after an injury-hit season, regardless of position.
“It has been a frustrating year for me injury wise and any time I play I try to help the team as best I can,” the 28-year-old said.
“I am feeling better with every game I am playing and hopefully that will be me injury free now for the rest of the season and I can help the team move up the table.
“It is a challenge and is something that I am not used to. The more I play it, I am sure I will get more accustomed to it.”