The decision to put Ismael Kone and Yaser Asprilla on the bench at Leicester on Saturday was partly forced upon Valerien Ismael.

Both players travelled long distances to play for their respective national sides during the international break, and the Watford head coach felt they would be more effective coming from the bench.

Kone started both games as he and his Canada teammates played a two-legged CONCACAF Nations League with Jamaica, the first leg away on Saturday and then the second leg in Canada on Wednesday night.

Asprilla was an unused substitute when Colombia played World Cup qualifiers at home to Brazil on Friday and then away in Paraguay on Tuesday.

“They came back on Friday and we had one training session with them,” Ismael said.

“They both had big jet-lag as you can imagine. Kone was awake at 5am on Saturday morning.

“They’re young players and that’s difficult, so that was part of the reason. Also the guys who stayed here worked well for two weeks and had good rhythm as we had worked tactically with them a lot.

“We wanted to let the players we had worked with for two weeks start because they had the understanding of our game plan.”

The 2-0 loss at the King Power Stadium saw the Hornets fail to register an on-target goal attempt until after Leicester had gone ahead in the 75th minute.

The Watford boss explained his tactics for the game against the league leaders.

“Before the game we had two parts to our game plan,” he said.

“Out of possession we knew we had to show big solidarity.

“Leicester have high quality, their possession game is excellent and you know you will suffer. So we had to work together: the more difficult the game, the more you have to stick together.

“Then the second part of the game plan was, when we got the ball, to show bravery. We had to believe in ourselves, make them defend and create chances.

“You know you won’t have a lot of chances when you come to a place like this, so when you get them you have be ruthless.

“In the first half we did the second part well, as we had a big chance early on with Rajovic. And in the second half, until the goal, I thought we were solid out of possession.

“But we were losing the ball too quickly and that enabled the opponents to come at us with wave after wave after wave.

“Once we had conceded the goal I thought we got better and had a spell on top.

“Right at the end we had a great chance with Porteous, and maybe if he had looked to his left he would have seen that a pass to Matheus Martins could have been better for us.

“It was a game that was as we expected it to be. In open play we were solid and strong, and we had some luck as well which you always need.

“But we conceded from a set piece and a long ball, and both should have been things that were easy to defend.

“I think we have improved a lot but now we have to work on things like being braver with the ball if we want to turn these defeats into points.

“We need to show more belief in ourselves, and when we get a chance we have to be ruthless. We had a big chance at the start, and a big chance at the end – we have to take at least one, if not both, in order to get results.”

The Watford head coach also felt Leicester’s Jamie Vardy was fortunate to still be on the pitch to score his side’s second goal.

The former England striker had been booked for kicking the ball away earlier after coming on and then, having netted the opening goal, put in a heavy challenge on Wes Hoedt.

“Yes he was very lucky,” said Ismael.

“I spoke with the official and he explained Vardy was given a yellow card because he kicked the ball away.

“Our player kicked the ball away by just one yard, he got a yellow card but I understand that. The official is following the same path.

“Then there is a clear foul on Wesley Hoedt by Vardy. You can see that if you look at the pictures.

“But just after there is almost exactly the same situation, we concede a free kick and our player gets a yellow card.

“So I asked the official what is your line on those two situations? The first one on Hoedt is a clear foul, that’s a yellow card and then Vardy is off.”