It's a sign of just how far Quique Sanchez Flores' Watford have come this season, that they left Old Trafford on Wednesday night feeling disappointed not to have taken any points from the game. The Hornets' defender Sebastian Prodl went one step further in his post-match comments, suggesting that he thought Watford were indeed the better of the two teams on the night.
It was an evenly fought contest between the two sides, but Watford's inability to capitalise on their chances - a problem that has plagued them in recent months, with Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo hitting a goal drought - ultimately cost them the game. Manchester United's Juan Mata struck late with a classy free-kick to give Louis van Gaal's men a 1-0 win and all three points, leaving the travelling fans wondering what could have been.
After being given time to reflect upon the result, rest assured Flores and his players won't be too disappointed. Watford still sit on 37 points, one win away from the 40-point safety mark - all the while still having 10 league fixtures left. It's a position most could never have imagined being in before the season got started.
Still, the frustrated is to be expected from a side that are as ambitious as Watford, and the Hornets' defender Prodl was quick to express how annoyed he was, despite admitting that Mata's goal was "good" and that Watford knew "[United] were able to do this". The 28-year-old suggested that the home side "didn't deserve it", and that the visitors put in an "excellent performance", and were the "better team".
Once more - as the rest of the Watford squad have been quick to do this season - Prodl focused on the away fans' support, suggesting they were "great as always", and that you could "really hear [them]". Prodl was adament the fans "deserved a win", and expressed once again his disappointment that Watford "created opportunities to win" but didn't take them, saying that the Hornets could have had "two or three goals" by half-time.
"We came to win"
- Sebastian Prodl
The Austrian suggested that Watford "had a lot of confidence" and that they "came [to old Trafford] to win". The squad must hold on to that positive attitude as they face league leaders Leicester City on Saturday evening, with the Foxes visiting Vicarage Road. It is another game that Prodl and his team-mates are relishing, and the defender was insistent that Watford are a team who "want to compete with the best teams in the league".
The defender suggested that it would be "hard competition" against a side that have impressed beyond all expectations, but Prodl was quick to suggest that the Hornets always "have a chance". From what we have seen of Flores' side this season, the Austrian is spot on: expect another tough, competitive game come Saturday evening.