Accusations Watford have slacked off since hitting the 40-point mark are wide of the mark, insists Adrian Mariappa.

Ross Barkley scored the only goal of the game as the Hornets slipped to a 1-0 defeat – their fourth loss on the spin – against Everton on Friday night.

Despite this abject run, Mariappa believes a spirited display on Merseyside provided enough evidence of a squad which is fully committed to improving the club’s current position.

“You can see by the way the lads played tonight that everyone turned up and was up for it, which is easy for me to say” Mariappa said.

“We have hit 40 points and haven’t picked up a point since, but I can assure you we that on the training pitch the lads are working really hard every day.

“Today everyone put in a good shift and we are disappointed to come away with nothing.

“It is tough to lose any game, but we played well today away to a good side. I thought the boys did well and it is one of those things.”

Mariappa’s assertion that Watford played well was, in fairness, fairly accurate as they contained a strong Everton outfit for much of the game.

Nonetheless, Walter Mazzarri’s side are now without a goal in 617 minutes away from home – a run which stretches back to the 2-1 win over Arsenal in January.

The 30-year-old is aware of the issue the Hornets face when they leave the comfort of their own front room, and is acutely aware of the need to address them ahead of a trip to Champions Chelsea.

He said: “Away form is something we have to look at. We have a tough away game again on Monday, so we have to dust ourselves off and try and get points.”

On a personal note, the past month has been hugely rewarding for Mariappa and he has enjoyed a prolonged run in the first XI.

Mariappa’s focus is once again on matters beyond his own success and he is more concerned with helping the club progress.

He said: “Whether I am in the team or not, I just try and train every day and make my claim to be in the team.

“When I am in the team everyone knows I give my best and try and help the team get the results we need. That is all I focus on day in day out.”