Watford manager Valerien Ismael heavily criticised referee David Webb after his side’s thrilling 3-3 draw against Coventry, describing him as the 12th man for the hosts.
The Sky Blues were awarded a controversial penalty after 20 minutes with Watford defender Ryan Porteous adjudged to have handled the ball.
Despite Matt Godden’s spot-kick being saved by Daniel Bachmann, Ismael did not hold back and felt his side were playing the game a man down.
“It’s a very good performance, especially when you play against 12 men with the referee,” he said.
“We had meetings with the referees before the season and they showed us exactly the same situation Ryan Porteous was in and they told us it won’t be a penalty.
“What is the rule? His arm is against his body so it can’t be a penalty. It’s very difficult to accept this but we fought well.
“The referee helped Coventry very strongly but we have a lot of positives, we scored three goals.”
Watford opened the scoring through Mileta Rajovic which was then cancelled out by a stunning free-kick from Milan van Ewijk.
A Matheus Martins goal and a second from Rajovic had Watford ahead twice more, but an own goal from Wesley Hoedt and a late strike from Godden secured a point for Coventry.
Despite not being able to hold on to multiple leads, the Watford boss remained positive.
“Compliments to the players, I think that’s a great reaction following the two games we lost,” he continued.
“We come to a very tough away game at Coventry and I think naturally we were strong. Until the second goal when we conceded on our own.
“But we came back into the game and showed great mentality. We scored a great goal and played great football and we wanted to have that bravery in our game.
“The attitude of the players was really good and we continue to move forward now and adjust the mistakes.”
Coventry manager Mark Robins recognised the mistakes that his side made but could not fault their bravery.
“There were too many decisions that we made that were wrong, but there were so many we made that were right,” he said.
“Defensively we got one or two things wrong. We became too open and ended up coming out when we shouldn’t have.
“Knowing that that’s the way they play, they try and suck you out to create space. They have got quality and they are rapid.
“If you want to sit in against them then fine, but you’re not going anywhere and they will pin you in.
“I thought we were good, I thought we were brave and went after the game all the time. We just got things wrong defensively.”
Last season both sides also shared the spoils in another thrilling encounter that finished 2-2, and Robins was excited by the threat Coventry posed this time.
“We created some brilliant chances, the football was scintillating and the crowd were magnificent and got behind us,” he continued.
“We’ve come back three times, but we’ve got to be a little bit more confident. Other than that we look at a real threat.
“Today has been a really difficult game but it’s the same as we had last year, we get a point.”