STEVEN Davis has urged Saints to recover from their Watford “off day” and show their “true qualities” at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The 2-0 defeat to the Hornets at St Mary’s was their first of the season and the captain is adamant the drab performance is NOT a sign of things to come.

“After the games it’s always difficult because you’re frustrated and it’s difficult to find the right words because there’s more frustration now than after sitting back and reflecting and assessing the game properly,” he said.

“We all know, without looking at videos and analysing the game, we should have done a lot better.

“We are a lot better than what we’ve shown today. It’s important we recover from this here and go and show our true qualities at Palace.”

“It was an off day and we need to improve but we’re a lot better than what we showed and we know that, so it’s important we don’t get too down about it,” he continued.

“We know we’re capable of a lot better and we need to go and show that at Palace next week.”

Abdoulaye Doucoure and substitute Daryl Janmaat’s strikes were the difference as Watford imposed themselves on Saints.

“We obviously didn’t start the game well. It’s always difficult to get it back after that. But we just weren’t good enough on the day,” Davis said.

“We’re disappointed with the performance and we need to do better than what we’ve shown.”

“I thought the performances up until now were okay, we seemed to be progressing alright and improving,” he added.

“But today there’s a lot of aspects we can improve on.”

Boos rang around St Mary’s at half time and full time as the fans showed their frustration at a below par performance.

“Look, they’ve paid their money. They’re entitled to their opinion,” Davis said about the fans.

“But they’re like ourselves in the dressing room. Everyone’s disappointed and I think that’s the biggest frustration, you can lose games and play well but we didn’t do that today.

“We weren’t at the races and Watford deserved the three points.”

The 32-year-old midfielder admits Saints played in to Watford’s hands.

“We didn’t start well, we went long a bit too early and that was easy for them to deal with,” he said.

“That played in to their hands a little bit and they were picking a lot of second balls as well. It wasn’t just one thing, it was a lot of areas that we can do a lot better in.

“We need to do a lot better than that to get results.”

While there were many Saints players out on tiresome trips on international duty before this game, Davis, who helped Northern Ireland to back-to-back victories in World Cup qualifying last week, did not want to use that as an excuse for the defeat.

“It’s not easy but it’s a factor for every club in the Premier League,” he said.

“Everybody’s got plenty of international players, so everybody has to deal with it. It’s no excuse.

“We’re not looking for an excuse today, it just wasn’t good enough.”