Birmingham manager Gary Rowett confirmed Watford’s frailty when defending crosses into their penalty area was highlighted before tonight’s match.

The Blues won Rowett’s first game at St Andrew’s 2-1 thanks to Clayton Donaldson’ header five minutes before time, when the 6ft 1ins striker was left completely unmarked.

Rowett was asked if Watford’s difficulty at defending balls into the box was highlighted prior to tonight’s contest.

He replied: “Yes absolutely. We have a very good analyst called Joe (Carnell) who picks a lot of things out for us and so far he has been a massive help to us. He will come up with one or two things because that is his job and we highlighted areas to the players where we felt we could try to exploit.

“But it is like anything, Watford would have highlighted things they believe could exploit us I’m sure. They felt they could get their full-backs a little bit higher up the pitch to peg us back in but we kept our shape really well and actually we didn’t drop in quite so much as we did in the second half for 15, 20 minutes against Wolves (on Saturday). That is something the team learned.

“Sometimes you have to be braver and take five or ten paces out to put a little bit more pressure on [the opposition] and in doing that you don’t have quite as far to travel to create a chance. We did that really well and I’ve been pleased they have taken that on board.”

Watford have struggled when defending the wide areas at times this season; with the first half at Middlesbrough ten days ago the most prominent example.

Rowett also recognised the importance of holding midfielder Daniel Tozser to Watford’s style of play by asking attacking midfielder Andrew Shinnie to man-mark the Hungary international when the Hornets were in possession.

Rowett explained: “We had 18 shots at goals against a team that were top of the league for a short while and I felt whenever we worked a bit of movement wide – particularly down Paul Caddis’ (right) side and he got some really good balls into the box – and whenever we got the ball in the box, I thought we looked really dangerous.

“We got into some good positions and we could have done that a little bit better.

“With a team like Watford, it is important to change your shape a little bit and we went with the two sitting [midfielders] and the one in front (Shinnie). The reason behind that was to fill the pockets just off our back four, which we felt Watford would try to drop in and exploit.

"Watford play with really good rotation in there and they play with lots of movement and sometimes you have to stay patient and keep your shape. The reward we got was that whenever we won it, the pockets opened up and we attacked them really well.”

He expanded further by adding: “I am really pleased [with Shinnie’s man-marking of Tozser] and that was part of our tactical plan.

"We could have gone like we did on Saturday and had Stephen Gleeson sitting and (David) Davis and Shinnie more advanced but we felt that would give Watford the pockets in front of our back four to manoeuvre and get into, which Watford do very well. Sometimes when you give teams possession around the half-way line, those are the areas you have to be careful about.

“So we went with the two [holding midfielders] and the one, with Shinnie’s specific role being to defensively get around the sitter (Tozser) and stop him playing. We felt they might not be as effective. I thought he did that really well.

“But even more importantly, when we won the ball, he tried to be brave and get in the right areas. I think you have seen again that the better he did and the more he did, the more confident he became. He was certainly more creative in those areas.”

Read Jokanovic's views on tonight's match here. A match report can be viewed by clicking here.