Watford boss Marco Silva bemoaned his players' disregard for their gameplan as they crashed to a 3-2 defeat to Bristol City in the Carabao Cup tonight.

After an uninspiring first half which the head coach labelled too slow, Etienne Capoue's 47th-minute opener briefly allayed any fears of a cupset at Vicarage Road.

But when Freddie Hinds equalised out of nothing for the Robins on the hour mark, the hosts fell apart and could have conceded more than the two goals Bobby Reid and Niclas Eliasson added to send them through.

Silva has had little to take issue with from two encouraging Hornets performances to date, but said he had been irritated with the long-ball tactics they had employed in the final half-hour.

"In the first half we controlled without playing fast enough," he said. "But we didn’t give a lot of problems for our opponents. We needed to create more chances.

"We started well after half-time. Not only with the goal, but we had more tempo.

"Then we slowed down again, and lost easy balls in the midfield. In two moments we lost our balance with two counter attacks.

"Then, everything is more difficult and we had to play in a different way. I didn’t like it, a lot of long balls. It was too early in the match. In the last 5-10 minutes, you need to control it in a different way though before that."

Watford made six changes but still named a strong line-up for the visit of City, who themselves retained only two of the starting 11 that drew 0-0 with Millwall on Saturday.

With that in mind, the Hornets boss was left questioning whether his players had expected their visitors to roll over and let them progress to the third round of the cup. 

"I don't know [if there was complacency]," he said. "When you think like that, it’s the first mistake. You need to respect everyone, and ourselves.

"For me it’s the same, but it doesn’t make sense not to do it the same. You can play well or not, and that’s football, but the way you work has to be the same.

"We prepared the same, we made six changes but they changed more than us.

"It’s clear for me that it’s a matter of mentality and we need to prepare the same way for every game mentally or League Cup. Against Liverpool or Bristol City is the same. Today we didn’t do that."