Walter Mazzarri felt the margin of Watford’s defeat at Leicester City “was too big for our performance” but admitted they paid the price for individual defensive mistakes.

The first half had looked set to end goalless until the Hornets switched off at a short counter and Etienne Capoue tried to bring down Danny Drinkwater’s cross, only for the ball to run loose in the area and Wilfred Ndidi gleefully smashed home.

Another error caused the Foxes’ second 13 minutes into the second half as Riyad Mahrez made the most of Adrian Mariappa miscontrolling a long ball forward, before the home side completed their win in injury time as Marc Albrighton finished off a counter-attack.

“The result, of course, is not nice but I think it doesn’t really reflect how the game went,” said the Hornets’ head coach after his side’s fifth successive away defeat without scoring.

“We committed two individual mistakes and paid for it and the third goal arrived on a counter-attack. I also think that our performance for many moments of the game was at the same level at least.

“Their goalkeeper was great as well and I think the game was decided on some episodes because he saved many goals that we could and should have scored and they didn’t concede and we did. At the end of the day the games are decided on episodes.”

Asked if the game had been similar to many this season – with not enough quality in the attacking third and mistakes being punished at the other end – Mazzarri responded: “Everybody can see that we conceded because of individual mistakes. It was a pity because the performance until 2-0 was ok. And it’s something that I think everybody needs to be appreciate that when we were 2-0 down we were still trying to score, and this is something that it very important.

“I’m sorry for the result because it was too big for our performance.”