Roy Hodgson thinks Watford’s build-up play was not inferior to Crystal Palace’s

Watford were unable to build on their first victory since November at Aston Villa on Saturday and remain four points from safety.

Roy Hodgson’s Watford lost to Crystal Palace (Nick Potts/PA)

By Sonia Twigg, PA

Roy Hodgson believes Watford were not inferior to Crystal Palace in their build-up play, despite slumping to a 4-1 defeat at Vicarage Road on Wednesday night.

Moussa Sissoko’s 18th-minute header cancelled out Jean-Philippe Mateta’s opener, which took a fortunate deflection, but Watford were unable to take a point from the game.

Conor Gallagher’s clever strike just before half-time put Palace back in front before Wilfried Zaha wrapped up all three points for the visitors with two late goals.

Watford were unable to build on their first victory since November at Aston Villa on Saturday and remain four points from safety, with just one win under Hodgson since he took over on January 26, although the manager said it was only the play in the final third that proved the difference.

“I think that the way the players got over that 2-1 and came out in the second half and really tried to play, we certainly weren’t inferior in terms of our build-up play between the two penalty boxes,” Hodgson said.

“What made the difference was what Palace did when they got the ball in and around our penalty area and what we did when we got the ball in and around their penalty area.

“Unfortunately that’s the difference between a team that’s going well and heading towards the top of the table and a team trying to get out of the bottom three.”

Zaha urged his Palace side to be clinical after they further distanced themselves from the relegation zone with their first league victory since December 28.

He told the club’s official website: “We need to be clinical. We’re making chances and not scoring; I’m glad I can score for the team.

“I feel like it’s really deserved. Good performances week in, week out, and it’s the same thing after the game – we’re disappointed. So today taking the three points and going home feels good.”

He added: “I think the team we have allows me to do what I need to do up front.

“If I get the through-balls, the balls over the top, all I have to do is work on my final touch. That’s what I’m working on.”

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