Malky Mackay has refused to blame the virus which struck his squad in the build-up to Saturday’s game for the 4-0 defeat at the hands of Cardiff City.

Goals from Adam Matthews, Jay Bothroyd and a double from Peter Whittingham handed the Hornets their heaviest home defeat since January 2004 at the weekend.

Mackay was forced to cancel training on Wednesday to stop the “sickness and diarrhoea virus from spreading, after a number of players fell ill, but the Hornets boss wouldn’t use it as an excuse.

He said: “We had six out during the week but that is absolutely not taking that as an excuse for today [Saturday].

“The group that we have got were patched up during the week [against Coventry] but I am certainly not using that as an excuse.”

The Hornets fought back in the second half, with Nathan Ellington having a host of chances to grab a consolation for the home side.

Ellington is yet to score this season and Mackay sympathises with the striker.

He said: “Nathan has been incredibly unlucky over the last four or five weeks to actually not score. He has hit posts, he has hit bars and there were maybe two, if not three, chances in the second half where he could have scored.

“I think he did great when he came on and I think Henri Lansbury is another one. When the two came on after half time they really had an affect as far as the game is concerned and all credit to them for that.”

To hear the rest of Mackay’s post match press conference, or any other from this season, click here

* Full back Lee Hodson won the supporters’ voted man-of-the-match award for last week’s 3-2 defeat against Coventry City, but who was your pick against Cardiff City?

Click here to vote for your man of the match