Stefano Okaka gained plenty of plaudits for his contribution off the bench after Watford’s victory over Everton as Javi Gracia’s decision to switch to two up front paid off.

The Hornets had struggled to create chances after starting with a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Roberto Pereyra and Richarlison not having a significant contribution in the final third.

Both players were taken off within 10 minutes of the second half getting underwa, as Gracia switched to 4-4-2 with Okaka and Kiko Femenia coming on.

Watford’s attacking play was to increasingly improve as a result, with Okaka’s power and directness having an increasing say on proceedings and it was the striker who was to set up Troy Deeney for the game’s decisive moment.

Asked about Okaka’s impact, the Hornets head coach responded: “I think it was the moment to change in the second half, taking out Roberto and Richarlison and putting on Kiko and Stefano.

“It was a change to play with two strikers, to have more chances to score and maybe we’d had a lot of short passes but, in that moment, with more distances it was the time to play that way.

“Stefano, all the team worked hard and helped us to get these three points.”

The victory means the Hornets have now taken seven points from their four Premier League games under Gracia and stopped the opposing team from scoring in two of those matches.

“I think it is important for us to keep another clean sheet,” Gracia said. “If you score one goal you can win, like today.

“Today playing with a line of four players, other matches playing with three, five, we try to find the best option every game. Today I am happy with the defensive work.”