Watford’s goalless draw with Tottenham Hotspur ensured the Hornets kept their eighth Premier League clean sheet of the season.

This not only surpassed the seven shut-outs Watford achieved in the whole of last season, but also means no other top-flight club has kept more clean sheets – an unlikely statistical landmark for a team that is 17th in the table and has spent the majority of the campaign in the relegation zone.

Four of those clean sheets have been achieved in the seven games Nigel Pearson has been at the helm for and the head coach stressed the defensive solidity is a team effort.

The Hornets boss said: “If strikers judge themselves by goals scored then defenders and goalkeepers would do the same by clean sheets, but the key to it is having a collective mentality and personality.

“We have to make sure and we did it today in the first half where we didn’t really find a way of getting enough meaningful possession but we still had a stubbornness to our set up in which we defended well as a team.

“What that does for defenders and goalkeepers is give them a chance to enjoy doing what they’re on the pitch to do in the same way that when we are an attacking force there’s still midfield and defensive players involved in that process.

“The most important thing for us is to have this collective identity. You’re playing a team sport and you’ve got a much better chance to maximise what you are as an individual if the framework in which you’re working is efficient.

“We’ve got it right more often that not, we don’t always get it perfect but as long as the intention is there and as long as the application is there it’s a lot easier to understand when things don’t work the way that you want to.”