Javi Gracia bemoaned Watford’s failure to convert their first half dominance into goals after they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

The Hornets spurned a host of openings in the first period, with Gerard Deulofeu being most culpable of profligacy as he missed two clear chances.

Ayoze Perez made sure Gracia’s men paid in full for their inability to find the net with a headed winner after 65 minutes which gave the hosts a first league victory of the season.

While Gracia couldn’t fault his players for effort, the Spanish head coach accepted they were their own worst enemy in front of goal.

“If you do not score and kill the game when you have the chance to do something like today can happen,” Gracia said.

“If you ask me about the game or the result, I can be disappointed today with the result because I think we have done many things well, but I can’t be disappointed with the way my team played.

“We can speak about how many players had a good chance to score; Stefano Okaka, Roberto Pereyra hit the crossbar, Adrian Mariappa, Isaac Success, a lot of players had clear chances.

“We dominated the first half. Creating the chances we have today when playing away against Newcastle is not easy. We now need to be demanding and improve.”

Deulofeu, who has shone since returning to the Watford first XI after injury last month, had a day to forget as he failed to take some presentable openings.

Gracia was also seen to react in an exacerbated manner at the forward’s failure to close down the United defence in the first half.

However, the Watford boss felt his attackers played a key role in pressing Newcastle and praised all of his players for a committed performance.

“I think all of the players have played well today and we knew if we left space players like Shelvey would be able to create from the beginning,” he said.

“We needed the strikers to have good balance for the rest of the team and help us defend well. During the game I am demanding of them and I am frustrated with the result but not the way we played.”