Defiant Walter Mazzarri issued one final challenge to naysayers over his side's 5-0 mauling by Manchester City: Find me a team that would do better.

Admittedly reduced to their bare bones at the back, with a remarkable six central defenders missing through injury or suspension, Mazzarri was insistent that circumstances alone had dictated the manner of their humiliation at Vicarage Road.

The departing head coach had asked for a "present" from his players on the final day which he felt they both deserved, but denied they had let him down despite shipping four goals in the first half alone.

He said: "Look at the players we had today. We had 6 injured players in the same position, and I would like to see a team that would do better.

"It’s not a matter of athletic preparation or condition, because when they were injured I did not push them - that’s the truth, these are the facts.

"These are not excuses, but they are facts - look at the line-ups we had throughout the season. 

"I thank the players. With the strength we had on the pitch, it was all we could do.

"The positive things is that there were three youngsters who played, and Watford will have that for the future.

"Today they had a dream come true, playing against Manchester City, one of the best teams in the world, and we know now what they can do in the future."

Mazzarri initially denied hearing any jeers from the Hornets fans during a confronation with Jon Moss early in the second half, but made a note of defending his reign when questioned in his post-match press conference. 

He said: "I always believe in respecting the thoughts of other people, but I wish that the fans were informed of what happened during the season.

"I have given everything this year, as has everyone else. With such a difficult situation, an inexperienced manager would have done worse. We were safe with six games left, and I have reached another objective in my career.

"I know enough to know that all the 20,000 fans cannot be on your side or having the same opinion. I know the majority understood what was going on."