Middlesbrough's manager believes Watford are "as good as anybody" in the Championship on the counter-attack but Gianfranco Zola has stressed the importance of improving the Hornets' home form.

Tony Mowbray praised Watford following the Golden Boys' 2-1 victory over Boro, which took the Hornets' record on the road to 23 points from a possible 36 this season.

Mowbray said: "Watford are probably as good as anybody in this league at counter-attacking, which was one of the reasons why I was so pleased in the first half because we denied them any opportunity to counter-attack and looked in control of the game.

"When you are 1-0 down you have to come out more and commit more men forward and ultimately they played to their strengths. They are very good at it.

"They have scored more goals than anybody in this league away from home this season and good luck to them because they scored two but it could have been four or five because they are very good at it [counter-attacking].

"If we had gone 1-0 up then I would have been confident of winning the game because they might have needed to leave a bit of space at the back gambling forward.

"But that is football at the top level. If you get to the next league up and go 1-0 down, then you will be in trouble against good players and teams who pick the right passes.

"Watford have some good players particularly in the forward areas of the pitch."

Watford and Hull have won more away games than any other side in the Championship but the Hornets have the worst home record in the top 12 of the division.

Zola said: "We are a team that can be dangerous playing away from home; the type of players we have and the way we play means we can be very dangerous away from home.

"I am looking forward to improving our home performances and if we can find consistency then it will make a big difference for us."