The Under-18s' winning start to the season finally came to an end on Saturday with a 3-0 loss away at Hull City, and Lead Coach Simon Clark wants to dispel complacency in his young Hornets side.
The match was goalless for over an hour on Humberside, but three late goals in a 12-minute spell gave the home side the win.
Watford started brightly, with Sonny Blu Lo-Everton firing over after just two minutes, and hit the woodwork twice when the game was still level.
“For the first 25 minutes we moved the ball really well, created really good opportunities, got in fantastic areas,” said Clark. “We didn’t take our chances, for a number of reasons. We had total domination against them and not once did we look threatened but we’ve allowed ourselves to play at a comfortable level. But comfortable does not unlock organised teams.”
Hull broke the deadlock after 70 minutes, doubled their lead three minutes later and added a third on 82 minutes to put the game beyond reach, which Clark puts down to his side taking their foot off the gas.
“Complacency kills, and it kills application and success and we’ve gone out and just played at a level below our best level,” he said. “Hull have gone from being totally outplayed in the first half and come into the game. They didn’t step on, we came off where we were. We weren’t at our levels.”
The young Hornets remain top of the Under-18 Professional Development League South with 12 points from five games, and the Lead Coach is focused on staying there.
“If you’re top of the league, you embrace it and understand why you are there but more importantly what you’ve got to do to stay there,” he said. “We’ve been working on our drive and our will as much as our technical ability and what we’ve done in games.
“They came off and they were absolutely gutted, but what they’ve got to do now is understand that feeling and understand the process. I hope it’s a lesson learned, because we’ve had a good start but now we want to go better than that.”
HORNETS: Baptiste (GK), Conteh, Maclean (Evans, 84), Sankoh, Matthews, Burchell, Harrison, Campbell (Manning, 45), Hutchinson, Lo-Everton, Trialist (Horsewood, 60).
Sub not used: White