Walter Mazzarri says his Watford players need to be prepared to sacrifice more after the Hornets disappointing 4-3 defeat to Southampton.

Watford were repeatedly overrun in midfield as the Saints fought back from going behind to Troy Deeney’s early opener to win at Vicarage Road.

Mazzarri was understandably frustrated by his side’s failure to hold onto a lead for the second week running, and was particularly critical of his strikers.

“I am not happy because I was convinced that with a little bit of attention we could have made a little step forwards,” Mazzarri said.

“We should have sacrificed more for the midfield, especially our strikers, but we allowed them (midfielders) to suffer too much in the first half.”

A second half switch saw Etienne Capoue make way for Isaac Success as Watford looked to get back into the game after going in 2-1 down at the break.

The move brought reward as the substitute laid on Stefano Okaka’s equaliser, which gave Watford hope of taking all three points.

A mistake from Heurelho Gomes, which gifted Manolo Gabbiadini a simple goal, undid the attacker’s good work, however.

Mazzarri was quick to defend the Brazilian stopper, who had made a string of fine saves earlier in the match, and is eager to move on from the error swiftly.

He said: “I said nothing, because mistakes can happen to all of us. It can happen to the keeper, the midfielder, the striker and even the manager.

“In this case I don’t say anything. We will correct some of the mistakes we did as a whole.”

The result sees Watford drop to 13th in the table and extends their winless Premier League run to three games.

While the Vicarage Road club enjoy a nine point gap on the relegation zone, Mazzarri is taking nothing for granted and is demanding focus from his players.

“We have to prepare properly for the next game against Crystal Palace because I don’t want my players to think they are already safe from relegation,” he said.

“No game is written and anything can happen.”