Tony Mowbray feels there are aspects of ‘risk and reward’ about Rovers’ play having conceded three goals on the road for the second time this season.

Rovers also shipped three on the opening day at Bournemouth who, like Watford, were relegated from the Premier League last season.

But they dominated the play at Vicarage Road, with 19 attempts at goal, but found Ben Foster in fine form in the Watford goal, as he also denied Adam Armstrong from the penalty spot.

Ben Brereton did find a way past the Watford ‘keeper with a fine strike from 25 yards, but for all their enterprising play going forward, the hosts scored three times from just four shots on target.

And dominating the game was of little consolation to Mowbray, though he was quick to praise the forward play of Watford who, with Ismaila Sarr in their ranks, will be a force to be reckoned with this season.

He said: “We were generally good at everything we do, you don’t want to lose three goals of course and there are things that we can tinker with to stop that happening. We’re fully aware of that.

“It’s risk and reward for us.

“You have to respect they have some pretty good footballers at the top end of the pitch but they’re disappointing goals we lost.

“We were okay, plenty of positives.”

Mowbray felt that while his side were dominant in possession they can tinker with their style to look less susceptible on the turnover of possession, as by the closing stages, Watford were happy for them to have the ball and look to use the pace of Sarr on the break.

Having built a squad with plenty of technical players, Mowbray feels this way of playing is the best way to get the most from his side, despite accepting they must become more clinical at the top end of the pitch, and more resilient at the other.

“I think to play as we how we have is our best bet, but I think we can work on things on stopping transition a bit better,” he said.

“I think we were pretty good in how we want to play and what we do, but similarly to Bournemouth, at the top end of the pitch they take their chances when they come along.

“I’d have to say that they were pretty strong, clever footballers, and while they didn’t have many chances, they took them when they came.”

Brereton scored his third league goal for Rovers, and first of the campaign, with a fine effort from distance that hauled them back into the game just before the half hour mark.

He had eight shots at goal at Derby, included one that hitthe post, but he had been substituted in both the previous two matches as Rovers went without a goal.

However, he is enjoying his longest run in the side since signing from Nottingham Forest, starting every match so far this season, and Mowbray feels he is benefiting from that.

But Mowbray is keen to see a more regular goal threat from the 21-year-old, believing that getting into the six-yard box to score scruffier goals will help boost his tally.

“He’s worked really hard for us this season and I’ve stuck with him,” he said.

“I do think he has to start scoring the tap-ins. I think there were a few things where the keeper has made good saves but there’s no-one there to follow up.

“Their second goal was (Tom) Cleverley following up, hoping the keeper is going to parry it, and Ben needs to score a few of them, because he isn’t going to score many 25-yarders.”