Sam Allardyce believes Watford’s efforts to frustrate Crystal Palace failed as the Hornets fell to a 1-0 defeat at Selhurst Park.

Watford spent large periods of the game attempting to restrain wingers Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend and had little joy in attack.

Allardyce claimed the defensive approach, which saw the Hornets employ a 4-1-4-1, was a sensible one, but praised his players for their mature response to the tactic.

“I think a team away from home always comes to try and make things difficult for you and frustrate you,” he said.

“If I was the opposing manager, I would look at our record and say frustrate Crystal Palace. In recent games we have overcommitted, got frustrated and let teams in on the counter attack.

“Today we didn’t let them get the counter attacks off.”

In a game of few chances, the Eagles were the more progressive side and created the clearer openings.

The guile of Palace’s players was met by a physical approach from Watford and Allardyce said it was key his players met the considerable challenge to secure a pleasing win.

“Every game we play can’t be deemed as easy, and every game you play home or away is extremely tough. There’s none tougher today, to have to tough it out for long periods when you’re playing against a tall side with a lot of height and ability,” the former England manager said.

“They’re no mugs, and for us today was about matching them and toughing it out, and in the end producing that bit of quality to win the game.

“The 1-0 win is very sweet. That comes from our outstanding defending. We’re working very hard to nullify our opposition’s strength and give little or no opportunities, and we did that today.”