JAVI Gracia believes Wednesday's Carabao Cup defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur perfectly illustrated the strength in depth he has always insisted Watford possess.

Spurs advanced from the third round clash with a 4-2 penalty shootout win after the sides had played out an enthralling 2-2 draw at Stadium MK.

Watford's starting XI featured 10 changes from the side which turned out to face Fulham in a 1-1 stalemate at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon, with Craig Cathcart to sole survivor in the centre of the Hornets' defence.

Spurs, meanwhile, started the game with the likes of Lucas Moura and Dele Alli and Mauricio Pochettino later turned to Son Heung-min from the bench as he searched for the win.

The fact Watford's second string was able to match such names is, Gracia argues, evidence of the quality he has in his ranks.

"For us, it was good recognition we can play at this level," the Spanish head coach said. "By keeping the performance levels with the players who played we have shown Watford is not only about 11 players, Watford is a good squad and we are going to compete.

"I am very proud of all the players that played today."

Those who did feature in Milton Keynes have had to be patient this season with the Carabao Cup providing the only chance to start games.

Gracia's faith in his core XI has seen him name the same starters for each of Watford's six Premier League games so far this season.

Favouring familiarity is not a decision which has been informed by a lack of trust elsewhere in his squad, though, and Gracia says he is confident all of his players will get a chance to impress throughout the season.

He said: "I have known from the beginning I have these options but I have not had the chance to play all the players.

"There are many games left though, and I am sure all the players will get their minutes and have their moments."

Of those players who came into the Watford side for the cup clash with Spurs, it was the younger contingent who caught the eye in particular.

Ben Wilmot looked assured once more in the heart of midfield and Domingos Quina, despite missing in the shootout, played with a maturity beyond his 18 years.

Having to operate against an opposition midfield which boasted Alli and later substitute Mousa Dembele is no small task for two teenagers.

It was little surprise, therefore, that Gracia was quick to praise the duo for their displays on an evening when all of Watford's number impressed the Hornets boss.

He said: "They (Wilmot and Quina) are young players and they played well, all the players did.

"They played well in the midfield and I am very proud of them."

Gracia also reserved praise for Isaac Success after the Nigerian capped a strong performance with his second goal in two starts this season.

The manner in which the striker worked hard and held up the ball pleased Gracia and he was happy to see commitment in training paid off in the tangible reward of a goal.

"Isaac Success scored a goal, did some amazing work for the team and played really well," he said of the 22-year-old.

"It is not easy for the players when they do not play regularly, but they came in today and played well. They showed they able to play at this level."