Nigel Pearson has claimed Watford are "fighting for their lives" after they were beaten 3-1 at home by Southampton.

The Hornets head coach blamed the defeat on his players making "unforced errors" and said his team simply gave themselves too much to do.

"It was a difficult day against a side who moved the ball better than us and coped with the situation better than us," he said.

"Again, we made too many unforced errors and made mistakes for the goals and gave ourselves far too much to do and it's disappointing for sure."

Asked if he felt his side could have been awarded a penalty in the second half when Craig Dawson was seemingly felled in the box, he said he was focused on his team's performance first and foremost.

"They're not things that really stick in my mind at the moment," he said. "I'm looking more at the performance and really what happened to put us in the situation that we're in today and that is again fighting for our lives because we've not found the performance levels that I would expect from us."

One thing that did not help Pearson today was the absence of Andre Gray, Nathaniel Chalobah and Domingos Quina, who were omitted from the squad due to "safety reasons" after reportedly attending a party on Friday evening.

Pearson refused to comment on that until he knew more facts about the situation.