Javi Gracia expressed his pride in the Watford players and supporters after the 6-0 drubbing FA Cup final drubbing at the hands of treble-winning Manchester City and believes experiences such as this can be beneficial in the long term.

Watford’s best chance came early – Roberto Pereyra denied by Ederson – but after that Pep Guardiola’s side were in firm control by the interval through goals from David Silva and Gabriel Jesus. And that advantaged was ruthlessly rammed home after the break thanks to substitute Kevin De Bruyne, a second from Jesus before Raheem Sterling added a late brace as City added the trophy to their Premier League and Carbao Cup triumps.

The Hornets head coach said: “Today we’ve lost, City were much better than us, but there were different moments in the game. We started the game well, we created the best chance for us with Roberto Pereyra after 10 minutes, but we need to score that chance if you want to have some chance to win the game. After that, to speak about one or two plays after losing 6-0 is difficult to explain.

“I’m happy with the first part of the game but after if you let them have spaces, they show their quality and they’re very good players. There’s nothing to say, only to congratulate them.”

City’s victory was the biggest in an FA Cup final since 1903 but when this was put to Gracia he responded: “I’m very proud of my players, I’m proud of our supporters. All of us know how difficult it is for us to be here and to enjoy a game like today. As you can see our supporters helped the players until the end and I’m proud of being part of this club.

“There’s nothing to say, only good words for my players. I know this moment is difficult to accept, this defeat, but for all of us, we are a team and we’ve enjoyed this season together a lot and today we suffer together.”

Following the fifth goal, the Watford fans responded with a magnificent show of support as red and yellow flags were waved passionately.

“It’s difficult for me to explain with words my feelings in that moment,” Gracia admitted. “I’m very proud of being part of this club and very proud of the supporters we have and sometimes I think you have to live these experiences, to lose these games, to do it better in the future. I think it’s good for us."

He continued: “I know in this moment it’s hard for all the Watford supporters, but we have to look to the future, not only today or the past. We are not satisfied with this defeat but I think it will be good for the future.

“I think it’s a step forward for us to live this experience and I’m sure we’ll have more options in the future, not only in the FA Cup, in the Premier League as well. We want to improve, we want to do better next season and I think we are in the right way with the players we have.”