Nathan Ake spoke highly of his former loan club Watford after Chelsea's narrow 4-3 win over the Hornets at Stamford Bridge last night.

The 22-year-old was making only his second ever Premier League start for the Blues - the first coming four years ago this week - and was given a tough time in a makeshift back three as Watford scored three goals on the road for the first time since September.

In fact, the Hornets' first goal, from Etienne Capoue, was their first on the road in 641 minutes away from home - something the Dutch defender is acutely aware of, after admitting he still keeps an eye on the club's fortunes.

"It was good to see some familiar faces on the pitch," he said. "It's good to play against Watford again and they played a good game. We are not happy with the goals conceded, but we are pleased to get the win.

"They gave us a good test. They’re strong and they’ve got really good players. Watford is a really good team and I still follow them.

"I think the last couple of weeks have been a bit more down. But hopefully I think this season has been really good for them, they’re safe again and sometimes they play really good football."

Ake has seen opportunities limited at Stamford Bridge since returning from a spell at Bournemouth earlier in the campaign, but feels being surrounded by world-class players is only serving to aid his development.

He said: "I’m really happy, the squad is great and the manager is great. I learn a lot from them in training and playing games like this, you’re always learning."