Watford were "bullied from start to finish" and failed to match League 1 Millwall's work-rate as they were acrimoniously dumped out of the FA Cup yesterday, stand-in captain Ben Watson has admitted.

In stark contrast to his head coach's comments after full-time at The Den, the 31-year-old was frank and forthright in condeming the Hornets' performance which saw them crash out to lower-league opposition for the first time since 2000.

He said: "We got bullied from start to finish. We spoke about what we were going to do before the game, and how we were going to approach it, and we never did that.

"When you come to places like this, especially in the FA Cup, you know what to expect but we never did what we set out to do.

"If we matched their work rate and competed, eventually our quality would’ve come through and won the game. But we never competed and didn’t earn the right to play our football.

"We shouldn’t have been surprised by their work rate, we spoke about it before the game that they’d work hard and have nothing to lose. Maybe a few of us never worked as hard as them."

Walter Mazzarri made seven changes to his side ahead of tomorrow night's Premier League fixture at Arsenal, but one which should have still had the quality to triumph in South London.

And Watson was left to rue a missed opportunity for him and his team-mates, in what was his first start for the Hornets since August.

"It was an opportunity for a few of us to give the gaffer a headache and put in a performance, and be ready for Tuesday or next weekend," he said.

"I think we’ve made it easier for him if anything. We’ve got to go again on Tuesday, make sure we were better than we were  at Millwall and get a result.

"This is proper men’s football, this isn't kid’s football. We needed real men out there - and we never had enough."