Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke praised Watford for a strong performance as they came away from Carrow Road with a 1-0 victory.
Dan Gosling scored the only goal of the game 12 minutes into the second half when he side footed home Joao Pedro’s low ball into the box.
And while Norwich City had their chances, most notably late on when substitute Mario Vrancic had a close-range effort blocked, Farke conceded that second place Watford deserved the victory.
“It was a tight game,” he said. “It was position one against position two in the table and, when you have this quality of game, it is always the details which will determine whether you win or whether you lose.
“I got the feeling that Watford were on the front foot in the first minutes of the game. Then we had a good period and then it changed one or two times again and that is quite normal when position one play against position two.
“There was one scene in the second half where we were, perhaps, not concentrated enough on the outside line and they won the ball back and had a crossing situation in which we didn’t defend the movement of the striker. Watford were able to use this moment and once this team is in the lead you could feel the quality and experience.
“It is actually a Premier League side from experience. They know exactly what to do to defend and how to break the rhythm of the game and calm the game completely down. It is very difficult then to turn the game against them.
“We have to respect and accept the quality of the opponent today and to say congratulations to them because they were there with a really good performance. We were there with an average performance, I would say. We have had better nights but also worse nights. I think this performance would have been enough to win many games on this level but not against one of the best sides that is fully committed. For that we have to accept the loss.”
Watford have more than 1,000 games of Premier League experience in their side. As a result for Norwich, who were promoted to the Premier League on Saturday, the game represented a reminder of how tough the task ahead for them is.
“It is also a reminder how difficult it was for us to be in this position,” added Farke. “We are sitting top of the table now, five points clear, after 43 games. It is fantastic and outstanding, and we have to value this, but it also reminded ourselves how difficult it will be in the next season and that we have work to do in the summer for us to be competitive.”