When you have won’t a home league game in this calendar year, just doing so is worthy of celebration.

However Tom Cleverley’s judgement of the 1-0 win over Sunderland wasn’t clouded by Watford taking three points in front of their own fans for the first time since November 28.

“I would have taken that before the game – a bang average performance but a 1-0 win,” he said.

“But I’ll always be honest with the fans, the media and the players: that was our poorest performance since I’ve been in charge.

“Football has a funny way of working. We played excellently in the second half at West Brom, excellently in the second half at Southampton and only got one point out of those two, so maybe we’ve got a little bit of payback here today.

“It wasn’t stellar performance but the result was huge for us.

“We’ve only lost one game in eight, and that was a funny one at Southampton.”

Other than a win and a clean sheet, there wasn’t much else from the game that will last long in the memory.

“I think we’d be clutching at straws to take too many positives out of today because I thought it was a poor performance,” Cleverley admitted.

“There is a lot of scope for improvement.

“I think if we had gone through a summer and a pre-season and then came back here in August without winning today, we’d have been looking at nine months since our last home win.

“That don’t sound great for a club of our size in this league.

“We’ve managed to clear that off today, and we always wanted to send our supporters away for the summer with a little bit of something to celebrate.”

While it was a poor game and a sub-standard performance, it might not have been judged quite so harshly had the Hornets not endured such a long winless sequence at home.

“Maybe it’s my high demands of us as a team, and that’s because I see on a daily basis how good we are technically,” Cleverley admitted.

“We can play in small spaces and combine in and around the box.

“Today we just couldn’t get it going. We’d have one and two passes but the third would break down, or someone would try a flick that didn’t come off.

“In this league you need consistency and we didn’t have any of that in possession today.

“We’ll work at it and I won’t stop demanding until we have the complete performance.

“I think Sunderland did a good job of breaking our tempo after we had made a good start.

“We struggled to deal with them slowing the game down and knocking us out of our rhythm.

“We were desperate to string three or four passes together to get going again, and it just fell down too many times.

“I know these players are technically better than they showed.”