Hayden Mullins praised Watford’s Under-23s for their battling qualities after they secured a 3-2 comeback victory over Colchester United on Monday.

The Hornets snatched victory late in the day as they struck to prevent a game which looked destined to end 2-2 finishing in a stalemate.

Having lost 6-2 to QPR in their previous outing, the manner in which Watford secured the win was pleasing for the club’s junior set up.

For Mullins, the manner in which the Golden Boys were able to claim victory after trailing 1-0 spoke volumes of a side which is maturing.

“It is development football and part of their development is about digging in when it got a bit tough and seeing the game out,” Mullins told the club website.

“You don’t want to get too bogged down with results, but it was a good way to bounce back with a positive result.

“For large periods we looked confident and like we had a point to prove. We said the players didn’t really need a team talk today after last week and we didn’t say much.

“A big part of development is how to bounce back from setbacks and we stayed in the game at 1-0 down, stuck to our game plan and kept they kept doing what we asked them to do.

“There were quite a few pleasing bits tonight, like their attitude, their character to come back from a goal down and win.”

The victory came thanks to Dan Phillips’ late effort and the goal was good reward for a performance in which the midfield man had caught the eye.

Mullins has been impressed with the youngster and praised the manner in which he imposed himself on the game.

“He is progressing well,” he said. “He’s put in some fantastic performances and he’s developing into a real combative midfielder. He can put his foot in, he uses his body well and uses the ball well.

“His goal showed his fitness coming to the fore, but he did that earlier in the game by winning the ball high up the pitch.

“He’s done well tonight and he’s coming on nicely. He’s now adding goals to his game as well.”

The Hornets will look to build on the victory over Colchester when they take on Cardiff City on the road on November 19.