Date: 20th September 2006 at 3:27pm
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Watford boss Aidy Boothroyd acknowledged that his team played below par but said there many positives to take out of the Carling Cup clash, notably the performance of left-back Jordan Parkes.

“It was an interesting evening,” said Boothroyd. “It’s understandable that we are expected to beat these teams.

“I thought we put out a team that was capable of despatching Accrington Stanley but they came and played the game like it was a cup final. The result was two teams going at it hammer and tongs.”

However, Boothroyd was quick to point out the difference between his second-string and the League Two side: “They were a very experienced team while we were inexperienced but hopefully the experience gained will help our youngster for the future.

“Sometimes you have to have games like this, in front of a crowd. Playing in reserve team football just doesn’t prepare you for this so tonight we showed a lot of character to get through on penalties.

“OK, we didn’t manage to win the tie in 90 minutes or even 120 minutes but that’s OK. The next time these players put on the yellow shirt, they will make sure they do some things differently,” pointed out Aidy.

“I don’t think it’s a question of lifting players for a game like this. The character and commitment is always there because, at this club, if that’s not the case, they are out of the door. What we didn’t have tonight was perhaps the sharpness and the fact that they hadn’t played together before.”

Aidy was keen to highlight the better individual Watford performances in what was a dour match, notably Academy youngster Jordan Parkes: “There were some decent performances for us out there. We had a left back (Parkes) who has come in from the academy and done extremely well.

“I made him take the fifth penalty because I wanted to put him under pressure to see what he’s made of. I also thought Toumani Diagouraga did very, very well tonight,” continued the Watford boss.

“Yes, there were players who were below par tonight but we’ll deal with that tomorrow morning. Right now I’m focussing on those who did well tonight, Parkes, Diagouraga and Richard Lee.”