On the back of six consecutive defeats where 15 goals have been conceded, Watford Women have to look for positives as they try to get out of the rut.

And there were some good signs in the 3-0 defeat at home to Crystal Palace yesterday, even if old problems still beset them.

They went behind after only three minutes – a goal very much made of their own errors – but then played well for the next half an hour, before conceding twice more in the final five minutes of the half.

“We actually said, about 25 minutes in, that we were competing well,” said assistant coach Matt Bevans.

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“The thing is, at this level, you can’t go handing goals out, and we handed them the first goal and also played a big part in giving them the second goal.

“The third goal was a wonderful strike, but we know we can do more to affect that.

“At this level the margins are so fine, and you have to cut the fine margins out if you want to be successful.”

The Hornets have shipped more goals than any other Championship side, and are yet to keep a clean sheet.

“We’re conceding too many goals, especially in the first half of games,” said Bevans.

“We’ve got to find a way of being more resilient and give ourselves a better chance to win games.”

Having returned from half-time facing a 3-0 deficit and potentially looking down the barrel of a heavier defeat, Watford fought well in the second 45 minutes.

“It’s a good group who work hard. They take accountability and know when they need to do better,” said Bevans.

“In the second half at Birmingham and again in the second half today, we saw the character.

“We have to look for positives, and build on the desire we have to want to get points and our willingness to run and work for each other.”

Perhaps the main positive to come out of the game was the return from injury of both Charlotte Fleming and Poppy Wilson.

“We said to the group before the game that we’re now starting to get great competition for places,” said Bevans.

“To see Charlotte back is brilliant. It’s been a really long road for her, a year out, and when she came on she made a real difference.

“She’s alive to everything, winning the second balls and playing the simple passes.

“Having Poppy back is great, because everyone knows she brings something different to us.

“We’re getting there. We had 20 players available today and still have one or two more to come back.”