Returning to the Watford staring XI proved to be a bittersweet experience for Craig Cathcart as he was unable to prevent the Hornets losing 1-0 to Huddersfield Town.

Tom Ince’s 91st minute strike was enough to give the hosts all three points as Watford once again conceded late on to throw away a share of the spoils at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Cathcart was making his first start of the season after suffering a knee ligament injury against Brighton in August, and later relapsing by tearing his thigh in January, and was pleased to be back.

“It’s been nearly a year since I last started, so it’s nice,” the Northern Irishman said. “It’s been a long time coming and I was glad to be back out there, but I wish it was in better circumstances.

“It was a difficult game. I thought it was a pretty even game and we probably did enough to take a point.

“But once you concede a goal that late it is nigh on impossible to come back.”

The late loss to the Terriers had an all too familiar feel to it as the Hornets once again surrendered points at the game’s death.

A 2-1 loss to Burnley the previous week saw Sean Dyche’s Clarets score twice in the last 20 minutes and came on the back of conceding in injury time to draw 2-2 with Bournemouth.

All in all the run has seen Watford drop six points from games where they have done enough to take at least a share of the points.

They remain 12th in the Premier League table regardless of Saturday’s loss and are still nine points clear of the bottom three with four games to play.

That gap could be shortened to seven should Stoke City overcome West Ham United at the London Stadium tonight, but Watford look to be assured of their top flight status for another year.

Having survival all but sealed is not enough for Cathcart to relax, however, and the centre-back is eager to finish the campaign in as strong a fashion as possible.

He said: “We want to turn it around as soon as possible and finish as high up the league as we can.”