Watford boss Walter Mazzarri blamed their 1-0 defeat at struggling Sunderland on the failure to take their chances at the Stadium of Light.

The Hornets spurned several opportunities in the first half and paid the price after Patrick van Aanholt fired in the winner after the break to lift David Moyes’ side off the foot of the Premier League table.

Mazzarri said: “If we go to look back mainly in the first half we didn’t concede many chances, almost anything, to them and we did create a lot of opportunities. The only thing we were missing is when we were in their goal area we missed the last decision and the last pass.

“In the second half we played good as well because it was not easy especially after the Sunderland goal. They were very motivated and we had to of course stop them. At the end we didn’t manage to score from the chances that we had.”

The head coach was left frustrated after Watford failed to score for the second match in a row. Back-to-back defeats on the road dropped Watford down to 12th in the table leaving them seven points clear of the relegation zone heading into Christmas.

Mazzarri said: “It’s very disappointing and the main reason is because the way we played we cannot miss all the chances we created. We know that in the Premier League if you miss these chances then you can get punished. This is football and this is what happened today.”