Delighted Watford boss Xisco Munoz saluted Troy Deeney after his goal and assist helped the Hornets climb to third in the table.
Deeney scored from the penalty spot and then teed up Ismaila Sarr for a second four minutes later to set Watford on their way to a 2-1 win at Stoke.
Substitute striker Steven Fletcher pulled a goal back with seven minutes remaining, but the visitors dug deep to record a third successive win and move above Brentford.
“Troy was perfect, he was excellent,” said Munoz. “I love him because he gives everything. He always gives me the best.
“I have an excellent relationship with him and the rest of the players.
“It’s important for all our team. He’s an important player in the dressing room.”
The Spaniard added: “The most important thing is the three points, but we can get better. We are heading in the right direction.
“They are a very good team, but in the second half we were much better and it was a better performance.
“I’m very happy with the players because they gave me everything.
“I’m happy with everyone and I thought they gave a good reaction.
“All the points are important. It’s important to continue but we can still improve.
“That’s a third win in a row, so I’m very happy.”
Deeney praised his team-mates for putting “a real shift in”.
He said: “We were poor in the first half, but we addressed it at half-time and then I think you saw a different performance.
“We played with high energy and togetherness, that’s what’s going to get us through this league.
“The new manager has brought back the togetherness and the enjoyment, he’s given the players a freedom to express themselves.”
Frustrated Stoke boss Michael O’Neill admitted he was “very disappointed” as his side squandered a string of good chances, especially in the first half.
“We were in complete control of the game for arguably 60 minutes,” said O’Neill.
“We’re just being punished for little things at the minute. We feel harshly treated.
“We’re very disappointed not to take something from the game.
“I thought we were excellent in the first half and up until the penalty we were the dominant team, there’s no doubt about that.
“But then five minutes really turns the game on it’s head – the penalty first off all and then definitely the second goal.
“Suddenly, from being in total control of, we’re 2-0 down.
“I thought we showed good character to get a goal back, but unfortunately we just couldn’t get level.”
Stoke stay in eighth place, five points adrift of the play-offs place, but O’Neill stressed: “We’re going to have to put a really strong run together if we’re going to have an impact on the top six.
“But we also have to believe this season will stand us in good stead for a lot of our younger players.
“However, by no means are we thinking that we can’t have an impact at the top end of the table.”