Watford academy manager Richard Thomas has praised the impact of seven first-team players who featured in the Under 23s game against Queens Park Rangers on Monday.

The young Hornets were beaten 3-2 on the night, but goals from Isaac Success and Joao Pedro showed that the game was a good experience for the senior squad members.

Also featuring were the likes of Nathaniel Chalobah, Domingos Quina, Tom Dele-Bashiru, Adalberto Penaranda and Callum Whelan, who made up a strong team in the game at St Albans City's Clarence Park.

Thomas told the club website after the game that it was important for those players to get more minutes under their belt in order for them to be in a position to challenge for first-team places.

"It’s perfect for the first-team players, the idea is for them to get conditional minutes and as long as they’ve got those, that’s the main objective with games like this,” he said.

“The attitude of the first-team players was good in training and in the team meeting, and they’ve applied themselves appropriately.”

Despite the strong side, QPR managed to move into a 3-0 lead and it took the Hornets until the end of the second-half to combine with any effect.

However, Thomas said once they started to click together, their quality was clear to see.

“They showed their individual quality at the end and they showed their combined quality as well," he said.

"They started to link, they started to move it and they started to play on fewer touches.

“Suddenly we had lots more opportunities in the top third of the pitch, in and around the penalty area. We just couldn’t get enough clean strikes away, but there were a lot more entries into the final third and into the box.”