It was a case of pride amid disappointment for Javi Gracia as he reflected on a way that got away as Bournemouth twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at Watford.

There was a lot to like about the Hornets’ display from an attacking perspective as goals from Kiko Femenia and Roberto Pereyra twice put them in the driving seat. But the Hornets were let down by a moment of madness before the break form Jose Holebas as he conceded a needless penalty, and then their failure to deal with a free-kick at the death with Jermain Defoe capitalising to snatch a late equaliser.

The Hornets head coach said: “I can be disappointed with the result because we have lost two points in extra time. But I feel proud of my players, of the team, the squad because we were twice up on the scoresheet and we try until the end but the team scored in extra time and we need to improve many things.

“Today, I think we had different chances to score in the first half but Bournemouth are a good team, a well organised team and they have scored a lot of goals this season from set pieces and we know they are dangerous in this situation. They scored in extra time and we have lost two points.”

There was some debate after Defoe equaliser about whether Stefano Okaka had fouled Steve Cook that led to Andy Madley awarding the free-kick. But Gracia chose to focus on how the Hornets dealt with the set piece, rather than if the referee had made the wrong decision in his first game at the top level.

“If the referee says it’s a foul, it’s a foul, I don’t say anymore,” said Gracia. “After that there is a long pass, there is a first pass, after that there is a second ball, it is not offside and we need to improve in that situation. It’s our responsibility to defend better in that situation. I think we deserve more points but it’s one point more and we continue.”

As for Holebas’ handball that led to Josh King equalising from the penalty spot at the end of the first half, Gracia claimed he didn’t see it.

“I didn’t see the action,” he said. “In that moment I thought we had control of the situation, but I didn’t see the action.”