Javi Gracia feels Watford’s draw against Southampton is an “important point” but refused to blame a lack of concentration for his side’s nightmare start.

The Hornets were rocked by conceding after just seven seconds when a Craig Cathcart pass was charged down by Shane Long, who ran through to lift the ball over Ben Foster and score the fastest goal in Premier League history.

The home side were fortunate not to be further behind at the break, but Gracia changed systems at the interval and his side's battling efforts were rewarded when they snatched an equaliser in the last minute of normal time through Gray.

It is the second home game in succession Watford have been punished in bizarre fashion – Ben Foster’s lapse punished by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal – but the Hornets head coach refused to point the finger at the players involved not being focused enough.

He said: “We conceded in the last games two similar goals. But if we speak about players like Ben Foster and Craig Cathcart, they are players who are always very concentrated. It’s something, in my opinion, that sometimes happens and you never know exactly why.

“I’m sure in the next game these players and the rest of the team will be very focused and trying to avoid these mistakes, but it sometimes happens and we try to do better and avoid these mistakes in the next games.”

Reflecting on the game, Gracia said: “The first goal was very strange. We conceded an early goal and after Southampton played better, in my opinion, in the first half. They could kill the game in that period.

“In the second I think we found a better balance playing that way and at the end of the game we scored a goal. It’s true we could have scored another one but I like to give value to the point today.

“It’s an important point and now we focus on the next game. We have to play three games in these eight days and we have to be ready for the next one.”

A win would have given the Hornets a three-point cushion in the battle to finish seventh. Although the performance was disappointing, the players’ spirit was again rewarded by the late equaliser when the home side were heading for defeat.

“It’s something my team, my players are always doing,” Gracia said. “They are showing a lot of heart, a very good spirit and playing this way we are getting goals at the end of games, we are getting good results because they don’t want to lose the games. They give their best and I think it’s the only way we can compete the way we are doing.”