Javi Gracia is optimistic that Watford will get back to winning ways quickly if they retain their attitude and work ethic, but conceded he felt a "bit unlucky" with "some decisions" for the second game running.

While a defeat to Liverpool was not a surprise in itself – second-half goals from Mo Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino firing the Reds to a 3-0 victory – the Hornets have now taken only one point from the last available nine and slipped to ninth in the table.

Asked if he felt their early-season momentum had stalled, the Hornets boss said: “I feel in all the games we have played so far we have competed well.

“In the last two games there were some decisions and I can a feel a little bit unlucky. But if we keep the same attitude and the same way of work every day, I have no doubt we’ll be able to win quickly.”

Another of those “decisions” went against the Hornets when, with the game still scoreless, Jon Moss did not award a penalty after Will Hughes looked to have been fouled in the area by Andy Robertson.

Like after Nathaniel Chalobah was scythed down by Ryan Bertrand in the 1-1 draw at Southampton though, Gracia stuck to his policy of not publicly criticising officials – and conceded it is one he is unlikely to change.

He said: “In the last two games I think we have been unlucky with some decisions, but I prefer to support the referees and I think if I don’t say anything about their work in the last two games I think will not do for it the rest of the season.”

Reflecting on the game, he said: “I think it was closer than the (final) scoreline, but playing against this team, they’re a very good team and they’re able to do this.

“We tried to do our work and our best but after scoring the goal and looking for the way to score one goal (and get back into the game), with more spaces they are very dangerous.

“I think we did very good defensive work in the first half. Maybe we lost the possession very quickly. We need to counter-attack on the first pass a bit better.

“In the second half we tried to keep doing the same way but after they scored one goal, we tried to press higher and opened the spaces (for Liverpool). They have a lot of different qualities and they score in a free-kick as well and it was a tough moment for us.”