Roy Hodgson defends Watford team despite ‘highly disappointing’ defeat at Wolves

Watford boss Roy Hodgson lamented a “highly disappointing” night but defended his players after their Premier League survival bid suffered another blow with defeat at Wolves.

The Hornets remain 19th in the table after a 4-0 loss at Molineux as they conceded three goals in eight first-half minutes.

Raul Jimenez opened the scoring before a Cucho Hernandez own goal and a strike from Daniel Podence following a Ben Foster error had the home side coasting, with Ruben Neves chipping in a fine fourth in the closing stages.

Watford have now won just one of their last 16 league games and are mired in the battle to stay in the top flight as Hodgson bemoaned the manner in which the goals were conceded.

“Wolves are a quality team,” he said.

“They have had a good season up to now. They have got some very good, quality players who are very good with the ball technically.

“They were very clear errors, the first one we didn’t defend it well enough. The next two goals were pretty obvious to everyone that they are two goals you do not want to concede.

“It is very frustrating, highly disappointing in every respect, we have a very sad dressing room because people came up here believing that if we could play as well as we did in patches against Arsenal we could cause Wolves some problems.”

Despite their poor start, Hodgson was happier with what he saw from his side after the interval and does not believe they have accepted their fate.

“At half-time we were staring down the barrel of a gun,” he added.

“They were going to play with great confidence with their tails up, we had to make sure we dug in and had to salvage some sort of pride.

“We got close, the last goal was a wonder chip from Neves and aggravated the score but until then we did the best to keep them out.

“I don’t think at the moment we have to hold our hands up to the accusation the players aren’t trying hard enough and we aren’t giving our all.”

For Wolves, the result ended a three-match losing streak and reignited their hopes of qualifying for Europe at the end of the season.

Their last home game saw them slip to defeat by Crystal Palace and head coach Bruno Lage was pleased with the response.

“It was good, the first 20 minutes, very good,” he said.

“The performance, the way we played gave us points and gave us goals. That is why I was so upset last time because we didn’t do anything in the first 45 minutes against Crystal Palace.

“My pressure on them is to come and always play the way we did tonight.”

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