Sound and solid defending, and the speed at which Watford then turned defence into attack were the positives that head coach Rob Edwards took away from the 0-0 friendly draw with Southampton.

“We wanted to win the game, we want to win every game and we always will, but I also look at the performance and I saw a committed display from a team that looked resilient,” he said.

“I thought we looked hard to beat, and we were able to turn defence into attack and look a threat. I was pleased with the way we had prolonged spells of pressure.

“We were up against a Premier League team and overall I felt very pleased with what I saw.

“They had one or two half chances but we had one or two good chances. If I’m disappointed it's that we weren’t ruthless enough at the top end of the pitch to get a goal.”

The Hornets really did defend their own goal well, and seldom looked troubled.

“The lads said after the game they felt that,” said Edwards. “They felt we were compact and tight. There was an obvious desire to protect Dan and keep the ball out of the net.

“I thought there was a real unity in our defending. We looked together and very solid.”

Of course, when you defend well and players track back to help out, it can sometimes mean you have to sacrifice an attacking threat.

“Any successful team will have to defend well, and often do it in numbers,” said Edwards.

“Then when you get possession there’s a few ways you can break out of that, be it a long ball, playing out quickly or someone does a bit of magic.

“Ralph Hassenhuttl is one of the best coaches in the world when it comes to stopping you playing, His sides always shut you down so fast and that means it can be difficult to find space.

“We talked about it at half time and that we were seeing more space outside and down the sides. In the second half I thought Joao Pedro in particular showed a lot of maturity to get into areas that gave us outlet and allowed us to get down the sides of the pitch.

“We came under a bit of pressure in the first 15 minutes of the second half but then we identified where the spaces were and got back on top. That pleased me.”

It was very impressive how Watford were willing to fight to regain possession.

“I’ve said so many times that when we lose the ball I’m looking to see a reaction. That was there today and it was good,” said Edwards.

“When they broke through us, which will happen in any game, I saw a lot of sprinting recovery to shut that down.

“It’s what I keep talking about: that togetherness, commitment and fight. It was all there today, and when we lost the ball we were willing to go, go and go again. We gave them no time. And on the occasions they did find a way through, we had players sprinting back to sort it out.”