The Hornets reacquainted themselves with the Championship after a five-year absence with the sort of gritty win you need to chisel out regularly if you are going to have a real crack at navigating a way out of this notoriously difficult division.
It wasn't pretty, it probably wasn't going to be given the new-look nature of this side and the short preparation time, and it wasn't ever really fluent, but the team worked its Kelme socks off, got the job done and gave themselves a decent base to build on. The winning goal came from a set-piece, as it invariably does at this level, after 11 minutes, from Craig Cathcart, a player who got them out of this labyrinth of a division last time. He knows his way around the Championship and his know-how, along with that of captain Tom Cleverley and Glenn Murray, is going to be vital for this bunch.
Winning is a habit, as Vladimir Ivić can testify having not lost a single game of the 52 during the regular season in Israel, and he will be delighted to be up and running already. You don't get any extra points for aesthetics in any league, let alone this uncompromising one, and it won't bother him one iota how these three points were collected. He knows there will be more, much more to come from this group once he has a full complement of players at his disposal and further time on the training field to work his magic. He is also showing, like he did at Maccabi Tel Aviv, that he is capable of working with what he is given and blooding youth.