If asked to write a script for how to make your first appearance at a major-tournament finals turn into an absolute disaster, then getting sent off and conceding a penalty which contributed to a 5-1 thrashing would do the job.

Unfortunately for Watford’s Ryan Porteous, that is exactly what happened to him as he saw red for a foul on Germany’s Ilkay Gundogan just before half-time as Scotland suffered a humbling in the opening match of Euro 2024.

To make matters worse, Porteous had his automatic one-game ban extended to two games by UEFA and, with Scotland going out after the group stage, the defender’s tournament lasted less than 45 minutes.

The former Hibs player has resumed training at London Colney, and head coach Tom Cleverley said he has spoken to Porteous in an attempt to lift his spirits.

“He’s going to have huge disappointment at how the tournament went, not just for him personally but for the team as well, because he is very much a team player,” explained the Watford boss.

“Scotland had a disappointing tournament and it was so highly anticipated by them, but it turned out to be an anti-climax.

“What I said to Ryan was one thing I regret I never did during my career was playing in a major tournament. He’s done that at a young age.

“It’ll probably take a while for him to see the positives in it, but he’s represented his country at a major tournament, and for a Watford player to have done that I’m proud of him.”

For another Watford defender, it has been a summer of hard work on the training pitch after reporting back before many of his teammates in an attempt to build up a level of fitness that increases his chances of being less dogged by injury.

Jeremy Ngakia signed a new contract at the turn of the year, but the 23-year-old managed only 15 league and cup outings last season.

That was one more than he achieved in the 2022/23 campaign, and the season before that he played 19 times.

It was his first season after joining from West Ham that Ngakia made his most appearances in Watford colours, 26 in league and cup, giving him a total of 74 in four years.

“Jeremy is one player who is due a stroke of luck,” said Cleverley.

“His issues are not because of a lack of effort on his part to be fit, and he has done a lot of work in the off-season to make sure his body is resilient to the programme.

“Sometimes as a footballer you have to try and leave no stone unturned, and I think that’s now the case with him.

“He has done everything he can, and now he needs a bit of better luck.”