Mauricio Pellegrino refused to criticise referee Roger East, despite believing that the referee made a terrible error in allowing Watford a late equaliser at Vicarage Road.

Abdoulaye Doucoure clearly handled home an equaliser as the Hornets came back from two goals down to grab a point against Saints.

Pellegrino accepted the error with great dignity, despite being clearly frustrated at the result and the way it came about.

He said: “Obviously my feeling is like all my players in the dressing room.

“We are a little bit sad because even in the second half when Watford tried to push us and were playing more direct in this moment I think most of the time we control well.

“I don’t remember many chances for them.

“Obviously the last goal is something that surprised me because in the Premier League the level of the referee is good but this action is so clear.

“Everybody makes mistakes but at this level the problem is when you have got a lot of thing to play to win and to lose obviously my feeling is that we are a little bit disappointed.”

Pellegrino insisted there was no point in him trying to approach East to discuss the decision, and instead Saints need to focus on moving forward.

“No. I try to speak during the game with the fourth referee because I don’t have contact with the referee,” said the Saints boss.

“Nothing will change with a simple chat.

“Now I think we have to support this person because everybody makes mistakes.”

He added: “From the bench it is more difficult for me to see but maybe for the referee and linesman are more close.

“I don’t want to do more comment about that because nothing will change with my comments.

“In the Premier League the level of the referee is good and so I am surprised about this decision but this is part of my job.

“At this level even the referee has got pressure too.

“Everybody at this level has to try to do the best every single day because at this level I imagine the referee is not happy right now.

“Obviously for me the good news is to keep going and keep playing in this way like the first half and everything will be easy.”

Pellegrino had spoken before the match about the benefits of video technology and the VAR system, and reiterated it after the Watford controversy.

“I think we have to try the technology because every single team sport the technology helps us to make better decision and why not football,” reckoned Pellegrino.

“We have to try and after analyse.”