“I’d like to say we planned for it but we certainly didn’t plan for it to go so well,” David Horseman admitted after Watford’s Under-21s defeated Leeds United 6-1 in the Under-21 Premier League Cup.

The Hornets’ comprehensive victory - they led by five goals at half time - on Tuesday night sealed their place in the quarter finals in style.

Midfielder Luke O’Nien, who is on a season-long loan at Wealdstone, netted twice whilst fellow Academy graduates Josh Doherty and Bernard Mensah were also on target.

Italy international Diego Fabbrini and Sweden international Mathias Ranegie completed the Hornets rout. Chris Dawson netted Leeds’ consolation.

Horseman, who joined Watford as lead professional development coach at the start of December, was thrilled with how his side performed in front of a small crowd at Vicarage Road.

He said: “When you have players who have the right attitude and professionalism then you are always going to win.

“It was the players’ night. They took what we said before the game and produced everything we wanted with some great quality.

“We talked about pressing high and winning the ball and that is how Luke’s opening goal came about. Luke practices for hours every day so it was no surprise to see him finish it like that.

“So the players carried out the game plan perfectly.”

Fabbrini’s last Watford appearance came against Brentford on September 30 and will be allowed to leave the Hornets this month if the club receives a suitable bid.

Ranegie, who has been capped five times by Sweden, hasn’t played for the Golden Boys this season and spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Millwall.

Horseman said the duo have trained with the club’s youngsters “a fair bit” since he joined Watford but has been impressed with their attitude.

“Both have been brilliant,” he said. “So I am not surprised with how they played tonight.

“We have quality players here at Watford, no matter the age. We had players from the Under-15s and Under-16s involved today because that is what this club does, it gives players opportunities.

“We have to keep pushing all the players across the age groups to make them better than those in the first team.”

The Hornets included triallist Vujadin Savic in their starting XI and the central defender played an hour before being replaced.

The 24-year-old started his career at Red Star Belgrade but joined French side Bordeaux in 2010. He spent four years with the club but made just eleven first-team appearances before being released in the summer. 

Horseman said he wasn’t sure how long the Serbian had been training with Watford and added: “The manager (Slavisa Jokanovic) asked us to have a look at him and Slavisa was here to watch him.

“I don’t know too much about him but we gave him the opportunity to play. I think he did what he had to do and was a great lad in the dressing room. That’s all I can really say.”

Video courtesy of Watford's YouTube channel.