Marco Silva’s Watford reign may have been short-lived and tumultuous at times but the Portuguese’s Vicarage Road stay wasn’t without its successes.

One of the most notable was the manner in which Will Hughes developed as a player after initially struggling to make it into the departed head coach’s first team plans.

Having been kept away from the limelight to improve his game and mature physically, Hughes was handed a first Premier League outing in October and went on to score twice in his first four games.

While the initial frustration of not playing under Silva still sticks with Hughes, he admits to enjoying Silva’s 26-game tenure and growing under his watch.

“I really enjoyed it [working with Silva] and learned a lot. Even though I didn’t play for a few months, I still picked up a lot from him,” Hughes said.

“It wasn’t a boost to not play because I want to be involved in every game. I knew it wouldn’t straightforward and I wouldn’t be starting all the time when I first came.

“I had to knuckle down and earn my spot. After a few months I managed to do that and it has been an up and down season, which I can hopefully finish strongly.”

Silva’s departure came as little surprise after a dismal run of form saw the Hornets dragged into the relegation mire after a promising start to the campaign.

His replacement, Javi Gracia, has provided a positivity which has helped take the Hornets to within touching distance of survival, even if recent results have turned against them.

Hughes too has been a productive presence since recovering from the hamstring complaint which kept him out for three months and says he is happy working under Gracia.

“Marco leaving is just the way football is and it all happens so quickly. It is a results business and I think everyone knows that,” he said.

“I have enjoyed it with Javi so far and every manager is different. Is it good to be fit again and to have started getting a few games under my belt.”

Hughes’ form in the middle of the season had seen him touted as a potential late contender to make England’s squad for the World Cup in Russia before injury intervened.

Those calls have resurfaced since a return to fitness which has yielded three assists in five games including a vital pass to set up Troy Deeney in the 1-0 defeat of West Brom last month.

Hughes accepts he could have been part of Gareth Southgate’s plans had it not been for his fitness problems, but says his immediate focus remains on performing well for Watford.

He said: “I possibly would have had a better chance of making the squad without the injury, but that is football.

“The last thing on my mind at the moment is England and I just want to finish the season strongly with Watford.”