Watford sporting director Cristiano Giaretta has praised head coach Claudio Ranieri for providing the team with belief after their stunning 4-1 win over Manchester United.

In an interview for Tuttomercatoweb, the Italian said that the team were able to take a lot of positives from the match, including things that are difficult to coach, and said that the players are all adapting well to the new head coach’s coaching style.

“We took a lot from that game,” said Giaretta. “We took things that you struggle to coach: belief in yourself as a team, in your potential. We can have a voice in this Premier League, it’s yet another demonstration. The goal is to save ourselves, performances like those against Manchester United are unmatched.

“These are things you don’t train, they are mental and self-esteem things. Ranieri has caught on and this challenge proves it.”

Asked if he was pleased with the person chosen to replace Xisco Munoz after he was sacked earlier this season, Giaretta said: “I’m happy: When you meet Mr. Ranieri, when you work with him day by day, you understand why certain managers reach similar levels.

“The boys follow him and love him, we are happy with the choice made.”

Giaretta feels that the mental aspects he believes Ranieri has installed into his players were clearly on show during the win against Man United, a match the sporting director freely admits he was worried about beforehand.

With Ismaila Sarr recovering from a penalty miss to score the second of the match, and the team scoring four goals, he thinks the benefits of Ranieri’s coaching are clear.

“Before the match I was worried, it’s Manchester United,” he said. “We came from two defeats, there was a break, there was no shortage of pitfalls.

“We had to play a perfect match, then stop theirs. That’s how it was.

“During the match there was strength and energy. Failed penalties could knock down a bull, but Sarr reacted and scored the second.

“Ranieri focused a lot on individual duels, we went to defend forward, we didn’t do it by running backwards. They never managed to trigger their top players, thanks to Watford and Ranieri.”

One player in particular who stood out for Watford was Tom Cleverley, who was given his chance due to a suspension to Juraj Kucka.

In his first start under Ranieri. the former Manchester United man impressed, earning himself a man of the match award.

Giaretta too was impressed with his performance, saying everyone benefited from his presence.

“Cleverley has had one of the best matches since I have been here,” he said. “Everyone benefited from it.

“Tom is a good guy, he is a loyal player, he is a reference for us and he deserved this satisfaction as well as the whole team.”

Looking ahead to January, Giaretta was asked where the club might be targeting reinforcements.

While the defence is an area the club are known to be thinking about in terms of new signings, the sporting director said it was too early to say for now.

“We have a squad to exploit, young people who are growing up, who have to work,” he said. “Now we are happy. It is too early to say what we will need. We signed a goalkeeper from Sparta Rotterdam ten days ago, Okoye. He remains there on loan until June, then next season he will come here.”