A visibly frustrated Sebastian Prodl turned his ire on referee Bobby Madley after Watford's home defeat by Stoke City, with the stand-in official accused of making "some weird decisions" during the loss.

Madley was a late inclusion as the man with the whistle, with Martin Atkinson originally set to referee the lunchtime kick-off at Vicarage Road before being replaced on Friday.

And even when attempting to be objective, it is difficult to look beyond the fact the West Yorkshire official booked four Watford players, three for dissent, while the visiting Potters were left unscathed despite their fair share of questionable challenges.

"The number of yellow cards is one of the reasons why we are disappointed," Prodl said after the game. "It was an equal game. Both sides were physical, some decisions were strange.

"Some of them would have been better for us if the game was kept going and we could’ve had some counter attacks and created some chances, but we didn’t."

The number of dissent cautions issued to the Hornets rose to 10 with today's additions, which now makes them the Premier League side with the most cautions issued for answering back.

But Prodl felt they had not deserved their place at the top of the undesirable league table.

He said: "It’s a game for men. Before the season, we speak with the referees about how we will communicate on the pitch, and every week is different.

"It’s difficult with the emotions in the game, and it’s only our team which was getting yellow cards today. It’s a little bit harsh.

"Every referee is different, and today we saw for ourselves not the best type but we won’t blame it on the referee because we could have played better."