Marco Silva laid the blame for Stoke's first-half goal which earned them victory at Watford this afternoon firmly at the feet of Tom Cleverley.

Darren Fletcher scored from the edge of the box after connecting with Xherdan Shaqiri's corner, but while the quality of the strike was not in question, Watford's marking certainly was.

The veteran midfielder was left completely untracked to sidefoot in, and Silva revealed Cleverley should have been marking the former Manchester United man.

Silva said: "It's clear for us when Cleverley should have that zone and you have one player ready to shoot in that zone - we lost our composure in that moment.

"After that, they were comfortable first half and we were too slow."

Stoke manager Mark Hughes, relieved after a morale-boosting win for his side, revealed he had to be won over by assistant Mark Bowen to allow Fletcher's routine to get the go ahead.

He said: "Believe it or not, we do work on set plays, but fair play to Mark Bowen who does that and he threw it out there.

"Obviously I had to sign it off, and I watched Fletch have a couple of attempts so I wasn’t sure if we’d give it a go, but he’s got a good strike on it and that’s all we wanted.

"The only disappointment was that he didn’t volley it like I used to - I'll have to have a word with him."