Watford’s 2-2 draw against AFC Bournemouth felt like a defeat, according to defender Craig Cathcart.

The Hornets conceded a stoppage-time leveller to drop two points as Jermaine Defoe found the net from close range.

Watford had twice led and had chances to extend their advantage in the second half, and their failure to make the most of their dominance was ultimately punished.

For Cathcart, who was making his return from a long-term injury as a second half substitute, not taking all three points was difficult to take.

“We are disappointed, it feels like a loss. We have to pick ourselves up and we have big games ahead,” he said.

“You try your best to kill the game off and the goal was disappointing in the end. They got a little flick and if it falls to Defoe in the box you are in trouble.

“We can’t dwell on it and we have to look at the game, learn from our mistakes and move on as quickly as we can.”

The manner in which Watford conceded the late goal was disappointing for the Hornets to take after the Cherries were awarded a much-debated free-kick.

Stefano Okaka looked to have led with his arm in conceding the foul, but Cathcart says he was unsure if it was a free-kick.

He said: “From what I saw it didn’t look like he did too much wrong, but I’ll have to see it again. But if the free-kick is given you have to deal with it and we have to pick ourselves up.”

The failure to cope with a long-ball forward was indicative of a display which had a number of individual defensive errors.

Jose Holebas conceded a needles penalty when slapping the ball out of play for the Bournemouth first in a bizarre moment at the end of the first half.

Cathcart refused to point fingers and says the whole squad takes collective responsibility for the sloppy goals.

He said: “We are all disappointed and are all in it together. Jose has had a really good season, so nobody will be too disappointed with him today and we have to move on.”