Craig Cathcart remains positive that Watford will adapt to life in the Championship despite setbacks in recent games against Bournemouth and Wycombe.

The Hornets had been as high as third in the table, but have slipped down to fifth after drawing their last two games, despite taking the lead.

Cathcart said he knows just how difficult the Championship can be, but believes the Hornets will soon get used to the new environment.

"I've played in the Championship for a lot of years so I understand that," he said when asked about the physicality of the division. "We just need to understand as a team we need to fight a little bit more and that the second ball is key. Set pieces, we've spoken about this morning, they're going to be key as well. We've conceded goals from two set pieces in the last couple of games and it's cost us points, so just little things like that we need to polish up on and I'm sure we'll work on it in training, but it's nothing the lads can't deal with and we'll soon adapt."

As well as performing as a player, Cathcart is also expected to be seen as a leader on the pitch this season, particularly with so many younger players featuring in the Watford squad this season.

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The Northern Irish international said he has been pleased with what he has seen from the youngsters in the side, but knows they also have a lot of learning to do.

He hopes that he and other experienced team members like Tom Cleverley, Ben Foster and Troy Deeney can also help guide the younger players in the right direction.

"I think they've come in and done really well," he said. "It's not easy, the Championship is quite physical. It's a good learning experience for the young lads who've come into the team. They need to adapt. They have done well at the start of the season, we've won games and we've been looking good, so I don't see it being an issue with the youngsters being in the team. We've got good experience and can help those players as well.

"A lot of us have played in the Championship before and we know what it's all about so any time the lads need to speak to us and need a little opinion, we'll tell them, we'll be honest with the young boys and we want to make them better. There'll be times when they're going to have to understand that they're going to make mistakes, but this is a good challenge for them this year to come into this team, it's really tough football and it can only be good for them I think."

Having those other senior players in the team with him is also a positive for Cathcart, who believes it is a signal of intent from the club.

After retaining some squad members during the transfer window, the defender now thinks they are in a good position to push for promotion and return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

"The fact a lot of the lads have stayed shows the ambition the club has to try to bounce back straight away," he said. "And that's the main focus this season. We know it's going to be a long difficult season in the championship, it's a different type of football.

"We've got a few players coming back from injury now. We've definitely got the squad to do it, I think."