Interim head coach Hayden Mullins admitted the past week at the Watford helm has fuelled his hunger to manage in a first-team environment again, but understands why the club have turned to Nigel Pearson.

The former midfielder stepped up from his Under-23 duties to look after the first team following Quqiue Sanches Flores sacking and found himself in charge for two matches, with the club’s search for a new head coach ending yesterday with the appointment of Pearson.

Although Watford were only able to pick up one point from those games after today’s 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace, there have been a number of positives to reflect upon for Mullins from his first taste of managing at the top level.

“It’s been a great experience,” he said after the draw with the Eagles. “When you step into coaching you look at where you want to go and obviously the development route is the first step and you’ve got to earn your stripes. But to have my first experience managing a first team in the Premier League has been absolutely unbelievable.

“It does leave you with a bit of a hunger to do more, but I understand where the club is and the manager they’ve just appointed is a very good one. We’re in a fight at the moment and we need to try and get out of it.”

Asked what had been the best part of his period in charge, Mullins responded: “The pleasing thing is going up against two really good sides and two top managers.

“The first game against Leicester was a big challenge for all of us, knowing how good they are, what they can do to teams and how well they attack and to go up against a manager like Brendan Rodgers, who’s been linked with Arsenal and bits and pieces, is brilliant as well.

“And then to go up against the ex-England manager today, Roy Hodgson, who’s unbelievably experienced in this role, that’s probably been the best part about it.

“I heard some comments that he had to say about our performance on Wednesday, which was very pleasing as well and saying how well he thought the side did. And I had a few messages from Brendan Rodgers after the game as well, so that’s probably been the most pleasing aspect of it.”