Watford remain just one point above the relegation zone after a lacklustre 1-0 defeat away at Burnley.

A second-half Jay Rodriguez header was enough to divide the two teams, after both sides had shots cleared off the line earlier on in the contest, meaning Nigel Pearson’s quest for Premier League survival is made no easier.

The Hornets made two changes from the team that drew with Leicester City on Saturday, with Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley coming into the side in place of Roberto Pereyra and Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Burnley were without a number of key first-team players, including strikers Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood, meaning Matej Vydra faced his former club for the first time.

The almost 30 degree heat made things difficult for both teams and the newly implemented drinks breaks were much-needed as the sun shone over Lancashire and baked the Turf Moor pitch.

Taking the weather into account, and the fact the home side were on the receiving end of a 5-0 defeat at Manchester City just three days prior to the match, it looked as if the Hornets would have the most positive mindset of the two sides, as well as the fresher legs.

But it was Burnley who came out of the traps quickest and had the best of the first-half and really should have been ahead at the break.

Rodriguez forced a save from Ben Foster just six minutes after kick-off when he got on the end of a ball over the top and shot from a tight angle on the right. The Hornets keeper reacted well to get down swiftly and keep it out.

While Watford were struggling to string passes together at one end, Burnley looked perfectly creative at the other.

Foster made a simple stop, again from Rodriguez shortly after the ten minute mark, but needed intervention from defender Craig Dawson not long after, with the goalkeeper wandering far from his goal-line to try and close down Vydra.

The Czech striker lofted the ball over Foster, only to find the foot of the post, before Rodriguez’s shot was cleared on the line by the former West Brom defender. Josh Brownhill skewed wide with the rebound.

The Hornets were unable to find a passing rhythm and looked most likely to threaten from set-pieces, with Deeney’s strength and hold-up play earning them a few free-kicks in decent positions around the Burnley box.

However, deliveries from Cleverley and Will Hughes were all comfortably dealt with as the Hornets struggled to put any considerable pressure on Nick Pope.

Dwight McNeil went close with the final kick of the half, but drove his effort just over the upright into the vacant David Fishwick stand.

Watford attempted to address their lack of forward momentum at half-time with Abdoulaye Doucoure replacing the ineffective Cleverley, while Craig Cathcart came on in place of Christian Kabasele, who had struggled to deal with Vydra and Rodriguez.

The changes made something of an impact with the Hornets coming out for the second-half the livelier of the two teams. Hughes was unable to make the most of the best chance created in the opening exchanges, however, while Kiko Femenia and Adam Masina rained crosses in from both flanks that failed to find their team-mates.

The first proper glimpse the Hornets had of the Burnley net came on the hour mark when Hughes’ corner was spilled by Nick Pope, but the goalkeeper reacted well to smother the lurking Cathcart’s rebound.

Moments later it was Welbeck’s turn to be denied by Pope after Deeney slipped the former Manchester United and Arsenal man in behind the Clarets’ defence with a clever flicked pass.

However, Welbeck delayed his shot and was promptly closed down by the England keeper.

More crosses came from Watford and eventually one of them created a good chance. Etienne Capoue’s corner delivery was nodded goalwards by Deeney, only for Dwight McNeil to clear off the line with his knees before Hughes failed to keep his shot down after collecting the loose ball.

There was no one on the line to clear the ball away for the only goal of the game, which came somewhat against the run of play with the Hornets seemingly in the ascendency.

With 17 minutes remaining of normal time, Vydra held up Pope’s long ball down the field before the ball was worked out to the left to McNeil, whose cross found Rodriguez to flick past Foster from the near post after stealing a march on Dawson.

Burnley almost doubled the lead in the final few minutes when Vydra evaded the offside trap and burst through on goal, but Foster got down well to deny him after Cathcart recovered to make the shot more difficult.

Masina ought to have done better with a header in the last minute of the match, but he failed to get over the top of the ball and instead nodded over the bar, leaving Watford with just one win from their last ten games in all competitions.