Vladimir Ivic thinks Watford's performance in their derby day win over Luton Town was their best yet since he joined the club, but hopes there is more improvement to come.

Ismaila Sarr returned to the fold, while Troy Deeney came off the bench late on as the Hornets overcame their rivals to win 1-0, courtesy of a Joao Pedro goal on his 19th birthday.

"I'm very pleased. It's nice to score a goal on your birthday, it's a good present for him, for all of us, for the team, for the fans, for everyone who is close to Watford FC," said Ivic.

"We started this game much better than the previous four games, both in the Championship and the Carabao Cup. For sure, this is what we want and how we want to play for 95 minutes. We don't want to be looking for excuses for the previous games, but I said a lot of times that we are still not at 100 per cent of our ability, we have a lot of space to improve our ability, and I expect after the break after the next game, we will have some space to do some of the things that we didn't do in the pre-season because of a lot of reasons."

Despite the return of Sarr to the starting lineup, Ivic did not wish to single out any players for individual praise and instead said it was a team effort that won the match.

Nevertheless, Sarr's work rate and desire to play is something that has not gone unnoticed by the boss.

"All the players, all the team worked hard," he said. "When you have one player like Sarr, we don't need to speak about his quality because all of you know his quality. He's a guy who worked hard from the moment he started to work with the team. He's a very positive man who asked to play, who wanted to play. For me it's important that players who want to be here and who want to play can play."

While Ivic was pleased to have picked up three more points in his search for promotion, he was disappointed to have done it without fans at Vicarage Road.

"We played one game for three points, we know it's an important game for everyone who is here who loves Watford," he said. "I believe that my players worked hard, they deserved this victory, they were a better team from the beginning to the end. Luton created just one chance, when they hit the bar. We created four or five chances and we could've scored more. 

"All of us are disappointed from both teams because we played without fans today. It's an unusual situation for people all over the world and we can just hope that this Covid-19 will stop as fast as possible and the fans will return to the stadium and be close to us because for all of us it's important to have fans in the stadium."