Yesterday was like watching a completely different Watford side against Leicester City compared to recent weeks.

Four defeats on the bounce, including concerning losses to Huddersfield Town and Brighton, had threatened to throw our season off course, but we got ourselves back on track on Boxing Day in what was a battling display from Watford which was full of character and determination. 

Gone were the ill-discipline, defensive mistakes and slight arrogance that we had seen recently. The Watford of old, that we had become so accustomed to in the early stages of the season, had returned.

Full of grit, desire and character, Watford acquitted themselves brilliantly, with the likes of Tom Cleverley, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Molla Wague and Christian Kabasele embodying a battling display as they snapped into challenges and pulled off some vital interceptions.

It wasn't necessarily pretty at times, in what proved to be a scrappy game in the second half, but Watford got the job done. It was a morale-boosting win for players, fans and Marco Silva as well.

Having gone behind thanks to Riyad Mahrez's header, Watford could have easily capitulated, just like they did against Huddersfield two weeks ago, but instead, it seemed to motivate them and the Hornets only grew in confidence.

Coupled with the introduction of Stefano Okaka, the Golden Boys looked much more threatening and after Richarlison spurned a great chance, it wasn't long before Watford got back on level terms through the excellent Wague. From there, they never looked back.

While we are on the subject of Richarlison, I hope Marco Silva ends the experiment of trying to play the Brazilian up front on his own. You can’t fault Richarlison’s work ethic but he’s better out wide in his natural position and he was never going to win anything in the air against a centre back like Wes Morgan. Simply playing long balls up to him wasn’t going to work and it left him isolated.

It was no coincidence that Watford improved when Okaka came on, as it gave the Hornets a presence up front and someone to aim for.

I thought the Italian held the ball up well and made a real nuisance of himself to the Leicester defence. He simply must start on Saturday instead of Andre Gray and the suspended Troy Deeney.

This was perhaps a performance which highlighted the unsung heroes in this Watford side.

Making his first start for the club, Wague impressed in what was a commanding performance at the back. He made some fantastic tackles and kept the tricky Jamie Vardy quiet, especially in the second half. For a centre back as well, he was quite quick, and he certainly took his chance with both hands.

That’s now Will Hughes, Marvin Zeegelaar and Wague who have all made unexpected starts but excelled this season, so Silva certainly deserves credit for the way he has handled their situations.

Then you had Kabasele as well, who made two brilliant blocks in the final 10 minutes which were crucial as Watford held on to preserve their one-goal advantage. The Belgian international was a player I had doubts about at the start of the season, but he has proved me wrong with some impressive performances since he came into the side in August.

Another unsung hero, Tom Cleverley, worked tirelessly in midfield in what was another good display from the former Manchester United man, while Ben Watson, a player who has never really let us down, was solid as well, barring a couple of sloppy moments in possession.

But perhaps the pick of the bunch was Heurelho Gomes. Arguably one of Watford’s most consistent performers in recent seasons, a small minority of supporters were calling for the Hornets to sign a new goalkeeper after his mistake against Brighton.

But the Brazilian more than made up for his error against the Seagulls with a match-winning display against Leicester, with two stunning saves at the death from Morgan and Leonardo Ulloa.

It’s not the first time Gomes has won us games either, yet there are still a few who believe that the Hornets need to replace him, which I can’t understand.

I’d classify Gomes as being something of an unsung hero among this Watford squad, because I don’t think we will truly appreciate how good he is until he’s gone. The 36-year-old is a fantastic professional and just gets better with age.

All in all, it was a much-needed three points for the Hornets against Leicester, although the Golden Boys simply have to follow this result up with another win on Saturday against bottom-of-the-league Swansea. But their application must be right if they wish to take all three points.

Bradley Hayden is the founder and sole writer of @WatfordFCBlog