There were two key words that Valerien Ismael took away from the 0-0 draw with Plymouth: ruthlessness and mistakes.

The Hornets dominated the game with 64% possession, 20 goal attempts and 12 corners.

Yet visiting keeper Conor Hazard was not overworked as only three of those 20 efforts were on target while, at the other end of the pitch, the visitors gained heart as errors crept into the passing out from the back that caused moments of true panic.

“First of all I think we are really pleased with the performance from the boys today,” said the head coach.

“We said yesterday it’s important that we put the performance, the attitude and the mentality with consistency and we saw it again today.

“We were not ruthless enough though. We got ourselves in great positions and we played some great football like we wanted to play today.

“When you miss the opportunities like that today then you keep the opponent in the game. Everyone knows that anything can happen when you don’t score and you’re on top.

“The second thing today was we made too many mistakes. They were unnecessary mistakes and by that you keep the opponents believing they can maybe get more than one point.

“So I think they were the two main topics from the game today. We didn’t score and we have to be more ruthless, and the mistakes that keep the opponent alive in the game.

“Why did we make mistakes? I think it is more fatigue. The third game in the first week after seven weeks of pre-season was very intense.

“Straight away we played three games and that takes a lot, so I think it was more of an explanation why we had those mistakes.

“But as I said to the guys, I was really pleased with the performance and attitude. We didn’t win but at least we know that we tried everything.”

Ismael said that preparations in the week, and the work his coaching staff and analysts do, means the Hornets are going into games fully drilled, which is breeding confidence among the squad.

“We know what we have to do and we know our game plan,” he said.

“My staff have worked perfectly so far to help us to analyse our opponents and what can be very good for our game.

“We then give that feeling to the players as well. I think we are on the right path at the minute.

“I’ve said to the players to just stay focussed on their attitude. For sure we want to win, and I play games to win, but I know that sometimes football is not always right.

“But today, if you don’t score and you make too many mistakes then you have to accept the 0-0.

“On the positive side another clean sheet, which is good for us.”

Going into half-time without having conceded was a moral victory for the visitors, Ismael felt.

“I think in the first half it was the case that we were completely in control. If you had asked Plymouth at half time I think they would have been really happy to still have one point,” he said.

“In the second half we had a good period after the four substitutes. We got exactly what we wanted, to keep the intensity high and to keep the pressure on.

“But you have to score, and then when you don’t the opponent thinks ‘ok, now maybe we can get some chances’.

“At times in the second half it was like a ping pong game and the first team to score would probably win.

“I was pleased with the impact from the bench too. Asprilla made his seasonal debut, Georgi came back too, and we have a lot of points where we can build.”