There were not many individual positives for Watford to take from their 1-0 defeat at Huddersfield Town but arguably the biggest was the performance of Craig Cathcart.

The central defender was named in a Hornets starting XI for the first time since the 4-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur just over a year ago, having battled back to fitness following lengthy injury problems.

The Northern Ireland international produced an assured individual display and his presence seemed to have a calming effect on those around him as Javi Gracia’s side looked set to keep a clean sheet until Tom Ince scored the injury-time winner.

Admitting the manner of the defeat was “hard to digest”, Cathcart felt the Hornets had done enough to return south with a point and it was “not a nice feeling to lose like that”.

He added: “The longer it was 0-0 we thought we might win but in the end it was not our day. We’re disappointed how the game has finished but we can’t dwell on it too much. We need to pick ourselves up.”

Gracia was not surprised by Cathcart’s performance and acknowledged his display had been a positive to take from a disappointing day.

The Hornets head coach said: “I don’t have a doubt about his level. I think he’s a very good player for us, but in this moment with the result we do have positives.”