Norwich manager Paul Lambert admitted his side had learnt a hard lesson in the 3-2 defeat at home to Watford.
Expectations were high at a full Carrow Road as the Canaries returned to the npower Championship but the League One champions were soon two goals behind thanks to strikes from John Eustace and Danny Graham. Lambert's side improved after the break and pulled a goal back through midfielder Andrew Crofts but a second from Graham rendered Michael Nelson's stoppage-time strike irrelevant.
"You can't defend the way we did for the first two goals and get away with it," said Lambert.
"The Championship is new to us, and at this level you tend to get punished when you make mistakes, and that's exactly what happened in the first half. But we'll learn from it.
"We have earned the right to be here by winning the league last season, but that's gone now, and we have got to move on at a new level.
"We've just got to put this result behind us, pick ourselves up and start again, starting on Tuesday night when we play Gillingham in the League Cup. Now we just have to try to win that one."
Watford manager Malky Mackay said: "I think the lads deserve a great deal of credit for playing like that in front of a big crowd against a club who are on the up.
"We have some young players in the squad, and I think they have grown as a group.
"The plan was to match Norwich's midfield diamond and to exploit the gaps when we could. More often than not, we took the right option, which you don't always get with young players, and we got our reward.
"I was also pleased with the character and mentality we showed in the second half."
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