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Flores upbeat despite Watford letting victory slip

Quique Sanchez Flores urged his Watford players not to be downhearted after a pulsating 2-2 draw at Everton on the club's Premier League return.

Flores took charge of his first game in the English top-flight leading a Watford team featuring six debutants, but they gained a deserved lead when Mexico international Miguel Layun netted in the 14th minute.

Ross Barkley fired a spectacular 76th-minute equaliser that failed to discourage the visitors, who stunned Goodison Park once more as substitute Odion Ighalo restored their lead seven minutes from time.

A gripping finale on Merseyside took another twist as Arouna Kone levelled again for Everton, leaving Flores to quell a sense of disappointment in the away dressing room.

"The feeling when we conceded the goal so late in the game is that you lost two points but that is not true," he said.

"We played against an amazing team, Everton were playing well. We tried everything. They had to change the way they played, a bit more direct with some long balls.

"If we are honest, we have to recognise that the result is maybe okay."

The former Valencia, Benfica and Atletico Madrid coach was satisfied with his new-look team's efforts on the opening weekend and believes there is plenty more to come following some impressive application on the training ground.

"It is difficult to stop everything in the first match," he said. "We are growing, we tried - at the moment it is okay.

"I am very confident with this group. Over the last six weeks we prepared to be competitive, to go to every single stadium and resist.

"We have maybe nine new players and six in the first XI. It is difficult but not completely difficult because they want to do everything. They try to understand as quickly as possible, they try to keep the system and avoid mistakes.

"They are professionals. This is good for us."