No excuses and a good wake-up call. That was the response from Javi Gracia after watching Watford’s season got off to a very disappointing start as they slumped to a 3-0 defeat at home to Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Hornets went rapidly backwards after a bright opening few minutes, producing an increasingly poor display as Graham Potter’s managerial reign at the Seagulls got off to the best possible start thanks to an Abdoulaye Doucoure own goal and second-half efforts from substitutes Florin Andone and Neal Maupay.

The Hornets head coach said: “I think we need to improve, maybe it’s a good wake-up call for the rest of the season. It’s the first game and we have a lot of games and time to improve. Today there are no excuses. They played better than us and deserved the three points and got the result they deserved.”

Gracia refuted any suggestion that his players may have been complacent, stating: “All of the players were training hard during 40 days, in 42 training sessions and seven games and after, in the first game, I have no doubt after that [any complacency]

“I think they always have the desire and ambition to win and to do their best, but in the first half when we conceded the first goal, an individual mistake, and the second one was the same it was tough for us. We had some chances but we didn’t deserve a better result.”

He continued: “I think we can improve collectively but it’s true, the first two goals were coming from two individual actions and we have to improve these actions if we want to improve our results.

“All of us are disappointing today, but I prefer to wait, to trust that we will be able to do better in the second game. To have time to analyse, to work is the only way to improve in the next game. I prefer to focus on that in this moment.”