Javi Gracia felt Watford’s 3-2 victory over Cardiff City was an overdue reward as the Hornets ended their seven-game search for a win, but he acknowledged they had made the end to the match unnecessarily awkward by conceding twice in quick succession.

The Hornets were largely dominant for the opening 70 or so minutes and looked to have the three points sewn up thanks to three fine goals from Gerard Deulofeu, Jose Holebas and Domingos Quina.

A fine Junior Hoilett strike should have been no more than a consolation, but the atmosphere inside Vicarage Road became rather more edgy when Bobby Reid netted again soon after.

Gracia said: “We are very pleased with the result because we have played many games recently and we didn’t get the reward maybe we deserved. The victory is very important and after we can analyse the game knowing we have played well.

“In 70 minutes we have scored three goals and their keeper was amazing. In the last part of the game they have scored two goals and we have suffered a little bit, but we had the control of the game and in my opinion we deserved the victory today.”

Despite being beaten three times, Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge made several fine saves to prevent his side from conceding even more as the creative talents of Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra among others caused the Bluebirds a host of problems.

“Today we have scored three goals and I’m happy with the way we have attacked today,” Gracia reflected. “Everybody knows it’s difficult to attack Cardiff because sometimes they are very tight and they are strong in all the challenges and win a lot of second balls. It’s not easy to create and to find spaces to attack, but today we have done.

“We can improve things for sure and I think today we need to know, in that (the latter) part of the game, we needed to defend better and be more aggressive because one team in the first 70 minutes didn’t have any chance to score, but there was a moment when we felt we could be in danger to lose the three points but today I think we deserved a good result.”