Watford goalkeeper Scott Loach described Saturday’s clean sheet at Barnsley as “like scoring a hat-trick”.

The 0-0 draw at Oakwell was the first time in nine matches the Hornets had kept a clean sheet and only the third time in 19 Championship games this season.

Loach said: “A clean sheet for me is like a hat-trick, depending on how much I have had to do. A clean sheet will keep me delighted all week and will keep me buzzing.

“Credit to the lads, from Danny Graham, Troy Deeney and Marvin Sordell up front, they battled hard all the way through to the defence and myself. It was a good team performance.”

Barnsley had the better of the chances at the weekend, with Adam Hammill and Jacob Butterfield hitting either post within a minute in the second half.

Loach said: “The first one, the free kick, I don’t think anyone could see it. It was a dubious free kick but you have to get on with it and luckily the post saved us.

“The second one, Stephen has stood big and we have been working on that a lot [in training], getting the blocks in, as we have conceded a lot of goals from long range recently, so the big Scotsman - or so he says he is - made it fly on to the post.

“We needed that bit of luck to be honest and it bounced out the other side for a goal kick. We did ride our luck a little bit but then again we had a few chances ourselves so it could have been 1-0 to either side, 0-0 is maybe a fair result.”

Watford were comfortable for much of the match but Loach needed to pull off a great stop to deny Gary O’Connor from close range in the final ten minutes.

“That is what I am here to do to be fair,” Loach said. “Alec Chamberlain works with me a lot on reaction stuff as I am quite a big lad so it is an important aspect for me.

“The team have bailed me out many times, Stephen McGinn blocked a shot on to the post, which not too many people will realise, and then it was my turn to bail out the team.

“It is a team effort and I am a goalkeeper for that reason, to make great saves, and I am just pleased I was there and hopefully it will be on the highlights tonight and I can keep that smile and keep it going so I can help my team through the rest of the season.”