An angry Slaven Bilic called upon his Watford players to bounce back against Reading on Saturday after a 2-0 defeat to Middlesbrough.

Sat in fifth and previously unbeaten in three, the Hornets lost at the Riverside to play-off rivals Boro.

Former West Ham boss Bilic was fuming after defeat on Teesside, demanding the basics are done well.

Speaking after the loss, the Croatian threw down a marker for his promotion-chasing stars.

"It wasn’t good enough, and I feel angry with our performance,” said Bilić. “I couldn’t wait for this game to start. We had everything - we’d picked up seven points from our last three games, so we had confidence, we had pace up front and on the flanks, we had the ability to defend and attack – and when we did things correctly we worked our way into good situations.

Reading Chronicle:

"But when you do the basic things wrong it’s hard to get anything out of the game. We were sloppy and made too many unforced errors. It was nothing to do with the quality we had within the team, it was about us not being focused enough and it’s simply not good enough.”

He added: “We have to be realistic, and based on this performance we have to get back to winning ways and fight the teams around us.

“I’m not talking about my team and my players in general – this is just one 90 minutes – so we will go again at Reading next week and we will try to cut out all the sloppy things we did here today.”