Watford midfielder Will Hughes praised the contribution of captain Troy Deeney in their 2-1 win over Newcastle United on Saturday.

The Hornets fell behind to a first-half Dwight Gayle strike, but the skipper converted two penalties in the second to turn the game on its head.

While Deeney has been criticised for his performances of late, Hughes said the number nine showed what was needed to avoid relegation, while keeping his teammates focused.

"Everyone knows what Troy's like as a captain," he said. "He's very vocal, he gets the best out of players and on big occasions like today to have the bottle to take the two penalties and score them both says a lot about him.

"He's been brilliant keeping us going, not letting us drop our heads and you need players like him in the team if you're going to avoid relegation."

Helping Deeney keep the team from switching off was head coach Nigel Pearson, who preached calmness and composure during the half-time break.

Hughes feels the win shows the type of character Watford have as a team.

"I can't tell you exactly what he said, but he told us to keep calm and to keep going because we felt the pressure a bit in the first-half and didn't perform to our standards," he said.

"It was a sloppy goal from a set piece which we know we should be stronger at, so to come out in the second-half and play like we did and get the victory says a lot about us."

The win moves Watford six points clear of their relegation rivals in the bottom three and with just three matches remaining after this weekend, it could be enough to see the Hornets secure their place in next season's top flight.

Nevertheless, Hughes insists the job is not done yet and said that before anyone could focus on what went wrong this season, the players need to finish their work.

"I wouldn't say [we're safe] just yet," he said. "We've got another tricky game coming up, we can't rely on other people, I said that over the past few weeks, we have to look at ourselves and do the business on the pitch and then whatever happens elsewhere happens. We've still got three games to go and we're going to go into them as we have the last couple.

"Our job's not done yet, there's still games to go and until we're mathematically safe we're not going to think about next season, we have to get the job done first and then things can be said."