Will Hughes says there were no excuses for Watford's slow start at West Ham United, as they conceded twice in the opening ten minutes, before going on to lose 3-1.

A slightly improved second-half performance showed glimpses of what the Hornets might have offered had they been engaged throughout the contest, but the midfielder insists that was simply too little too late.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Hughes said the Hornets did not do the basics right, nor did they react to going a goal down as they should have.

"It's expected it's going to be cagey to start off with, it's not going to be all pass and move," he said. "But it's the basics that we didn't do and they took advantage of that. To go one down's bad enough, but then to not react to that as well as we should've and go two down, there's no excuses for it.

"The first-half is not good enough, not at all. In this league you can't go down 3-0 and expect to claw it back in the second-half, as we did improve in the second-half, it was too little too late, there's freedom when you're 3-0 down, but we can't start like that and expect to get anything out the game."

Hughes claims head coach Nigel Pearson did not hide his feelings at half-time, but said the team now needs to show their determination rather than simply talk about it.

With Manchester City visiting Vicarage Road on Tuesday night and a trip to Arsenal following that to round off the season, things are not about to get any easier.

"He gave us a good telling off, as he should've," said Hughes when asked what Pearson's half-time message was. "We've conceded first in every game since the restart of the league and it's all good saying it, but we have to put it into action and we've not done that. We've got two tough games that we need to get points out of.

"We know we've got it in us because we can do it, but it's a big if. We can't keep talking about it and not doing it, so Man City is a massively tough game at home, but we have to go into it wanting to get three points, it's as simple as that."