Javi Gracia expressed doubts about Watford’s desire and passion following their 5-0 drubbing at Liverpool.

What was always likely to be a difficult evening for the Hornets was made considerably harder by, like at Arsenal last week, conceding an early goal.

That was to be the first of four scored by Mo Salah – he also set up the other goal for Roberto Firmino – as the Egyptian tormented the visiting defence and particularly Miguel Britos and Jose Holebas.

Watford had some useful spells of possession but they never attacked with conviction as their awful run on the road extended to one point from the last 27 and five consecutive away games without scoring.

“We knew we had a tough game, a very demanding game but again we conceded an early goal like in the last game against Arsenal and then it is very difficult,” the Hornets head coach said. “We knew we were playing against one of the best teams in Europe at this moment and they were much better than us.

“We tried to play like a team, we know they have a very good team and players as well and we tried to look for the best option. We need to compete at the best level we can and it was not the best performance from us today.”

Asked if he felt his players performed with passion and desire, he responded: “Before the match I felt it but now after conceding five goals and after the match, I’m not sure.

“We now have two weeks to work and to prepare for our next match against Bournemouth and then we tried to get points there because playing at home we feel more comfortable than playing away.”