Sean Dyche felt Burnley shot themselves in the foot as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at home to Watford and claimed Will Hughes should have been sent off.

The Hornets midfielder scored the Hornets’ third goal, having been booked at the end of the first half for a lunging challenge on Stephen Ward tight to the touchline.

The Clarets threatened to gain the upper hand after James Tarkowski had cancelled out Andre Gray’s volleyed over, but they never recovered after being stung by Watford’s rapid-fire brace from Troy Deeney and Hughes after the restart.

“We gave the game to the opposition,” Dyche lamented. “They still had to capitalise on it but we more or less gave it to them in the first five minutes of the second half after a very good first half.

“Other than the first couple of minutes, after that we very dominant for spells of the game and played some really good stuff. Effective football which I’m really into. It doesn’t matter how you get there, it’s being effective, and went in very positively at half time because of the aspects of our play, but as I suggested affecting the game. Not just keeping it for the sake of it.

“I then I warned them at half-time so I’m frustrated by that. I said ‘they’re going to try and come out the blocks like they did in the first half, we’ve got to respond to that’.

"You’ve got to go and get the game, rather than let it come to you, and we didn’t start with that kind of intention and then we concede a poor goal when we’re out of shape.

"And the third one is a poor pass and they capitalise on it. The only unfortunate thing is the lad who scores shouldn’t be on the pitch at that time for a really, really poor challenge.”

Commenting further on Hughes’ challenge, the former Hornets boss said: “I don’t even know why he’s going for it because Wardy is off the pitch at the time when he hits him. He’s not in control…I’m only going on the letter of the law by the way.

"Those challenges used to happen every week when I was playing but they don’t anymore and we saw yesterday with players who should have been sent off and weren’t sent off. So I looked at that and thought he should go, he didn’t, and then he scores a goal – a really good strike.”

He added: “I’m frustrated without doubt. We kept probing without ever really opening them up. They then put an extra midfielder on and kind of played in their shape to absord the game and they did that very well. Credit to them to see the game off because we never really got amongst them as we should have done in the second half.”