Kiko Femenia believes the melees which punctuated Watford’s 1-0 defeat to Stoke City played into the visitor’s hands at Vicarage Road.

Tempers repeatedly boiled over, most notably when Tory Deeney grabbed hold of Joe Allen’s face deep into stoppage time, and Watford were ultimately left empty handed.

Deeney could well face further action for the incident, with replays offering nothing other than damning evidence against the Hornets skipper, and his frustrations were a mirror image of Watford’s.

For Femenia, the manner in which Watford were drawn into a battle only served to aid Mark Hughes men, despite the Spaniard believing the hosts played better in the second half.

“This is part of the game and these things (altercations) can happen, but for sure it did not help us and went against us,” Femenia said.

“In the first half we were not the team that we usually are and then in the second half we played the way we know we can.

“Unfortunately we didn’t score the goal and almost threw the first half away. We have to look at the positive aspects of the game with the second half.”

Much of Watford’s better moments, particularly in the second half, came down the right flank and Femenia, while not at his best, provided an attacking outlet throughout.

The 26-year-old has made a place on the right-hand side of Marco Silva’s defence his own since Daryl Janmaat suffered an injury earlier in the campaign.

Silva spoke glowingly of Femenia’s work rate this week, and the former Alaves man says he has settled in well in Hertfordshire since his summer arrival.

Femenia said: “As I have said before, the club and my team mates have helped me. I think I have adapted well.

“Now is a case of looking forward and trying to do the best we can to get as many points as possible.”