Despite being left frustrated by Saturday’s 2-2 draw with AFC Bournemouth, Will Hughes says he is pleased to be back in the Watford starting XI.

Hughes made his first start since suffering a hamstring injury, which was initially only expected to keep him out for a few weeks, against Manchester United in December.

He put in a fine display punctuated by some incisive moments including laying on the assist for Watford’s second goal.

However, a Jermaine Defoe leveller in the dying moments of stoppage-time meant Hughes couldn’t be fully satisfied with his afternoon’s work.

“It was nice to start eventually after such a long injury lay-off, but overall it is frustrating and hard to look past the result and the way it happened,” Hughes told the club website.

“We dominated large parts of the game, especially after we scored the goals and we have to look at it as two points dropped.

“It is massively hard to take, it feels like a defeat in the end. In any game of football you hope to see it out in the last couple of minutes. It is very frustrating to concede from a set piece.”

Hughes’ lengthy wait to start a Watford game appeared to have little impact on the 22-year-old’s performance levels and he was arguably the Hornets; best player.

The summer signing played in a free role behind Troy Deeney and his movement provided the Cherries with a problem they regularly failed to solve.

While Hughes looked in his element to the spectator’s eye, the man himself says it took some time to get used to the pace of the Premier League.

He said: “It felt good and obviously you can’t replicate match fitness so it was tough to get used to the tempo of the game. Eventually, when I got my second wind, I felt good.”

The late draw may have been disappointing, but Watford still remain in a commanding position in the table with a nine point cushion between themselves and the relegation zone.

Hughes says the Hornets will look to bounce back from the late disappointment against Eddie Howe’s men and insists the mood remains positive in the Watford changing room.

“We have to brush ourselves down and get ready for next week now,” he said. “We can’t look behind ourselves too much and we are looking up the table.”