Stefano Okaka was on the receiving end of praise from Watford head coach Marco Silva after the burly striker scored the opener in their 3-3 draw with Liverpool at Vicarage Road today.

Okaka started ahead of new record signing Andre Gray against the Reds, and paid back Silva's faith with a goal inside eight minutes to give the Hornets an early advantage, in a fine performance from the Italian.

Silva made clear he had never harboured any real intention of throwing Gray in at the deep end only three days after his first training session with the club, but was pleased with the performance from Okaka, who scored four times for the Hornets last season.

He said: "He [Okaka] put in a very good performance in the first half. In the second half he was a little bit tired - we know his body is a bit different from the others, and with high-intensity he has some problems.

"Only in special situations when players come and do two sessions with me do they then start. Gray doesn’t know the team very well or what we want and it’s normal he started on the bench.

"We worked the last five weeks to prepare for this match, and it doesn’t make sense a player coming in and starting straight away."