Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo came off the bench to help Watford secure their passage to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a hard fought 1-0 victory over Newcastle on a wet and windy Saturday at Vicarage Road.
The Hornets skipper Troy Deeney’s lone strike just before half-time was enough to separate the Hornets and the Magpies, condemning McClaren’s men to their fourth successive season of failing to progress past the FA Cup third round.
Quique Sanchez Flores opted to make four changes to his side, with Sebastian Prödl replacing Miguel Britos in the only alteration to the back four.
Adlène Guedioura replaced Étienne Capoue in central midfield, with the Algerian making his first start for the Golden Boys since re-joining on a permanent basis in the summer.
Dutchman Steven Berghuis came in for his first start in a Watford shirt, replacing Almen Abdi out wide, while striker Obbi Oulare made his Hornets debut in place of Odion Ighalo.
Newcastle created the better first-half chances, forcing Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes into a string of saves.
But Georginio Wijnaldum’s poor back pass allowed Deeney to race clear and round keeper Rob Elliot before slotting in.
Newcastle shaded a scrappy tie after the break, Ayoze Perez curling wide and Aleksandar Mitrovic almost sliding in but the Hornets held on to return to winning ways after two successive defeats in the league.