Bolton manager Neil Lennon warned his senior players to improve or risk being drummed out of the club after substitute Troy Deeney’s injury-time goal gave Watford a 4-3 Sky Bet Championship victory at the Macron Stadium.
Wanderers trailed 1-0 and 3-2, fought back to lead 2-1 and then levelled at 3-3 after Zach Clough’s fifth goal in six games.
But Deeney made it three wins in a week for Slavisa Jokanovic’s team and ended Bolton’s unbeaten Championship home record under ex-Celtic boss Lennon at the same time.
“It takes away all the positivity we should be talking about because we were brilliant and I think the supporters appreciated that,” said Lennon. “We could have scored seven.
“It is no consolation to me though because I want to win. I have got to get it through to these players that if they are not going to come with us, they are going to have to find employment elsewhere.
“It may sound harsh but that’s the reality of football. We did brilliantly to get back to 3-3, we were attacking and five seconds (later) the ball is in our net. It is not good enough at any level.
“When you get to 3-3 with a couple of minutes left, take the point, see the game out.
“But we looked tentative at the back all afternoon. We had clear chances to win the game comfortably against a team you know have attacking prowess.
“We want to compete and play and we did that but we still came unstuck because of a lack of concentration.”
Odion Ighalo’s 15th goal of the season put Watford in front after 25 minutes before Clough and Adam Le Fondre edged Wanderers ahead. Le Fondre missed two chances to make it 3-1 before Almen Abdi and Joel Ekstrand restored the Hornets’ advantage.
Clough levelled again before Deeney, a 57th-minute replacement for Gabriele Angella, settled the contest.
“It was an incredible game and interesting for supporters but I prefer a game to be more controlled,” said Hornets boss Jokanovic.
“During the game I had mixed emotions. We scored four goals and could have scored more. They scored off three crosses when we had enough information to know this situation would happen but we didn’t avoid it.
“To win some away games it is enough to score one goal but when you have to score four goals to earn three points it is very complicated for us
“It is nice we score four goals but football is played in two directions. So, we must improve in parts of our game though I must be happy
“My team has had a good week with three wins in seven days but it is important now we prepare for the next game against Norwich.”