The Heed eventually beat Guiseley in the final minute of extra time in the FA Trophy, Theo Vassell netting the winner as they scraped through 2-1.
Watson wasn’t impressed by the 120 minutes - and after getting to the final with Macclesfield Town last season, he wants another trip to Wembley a year on.
“It was a tough game - but we made it tough for ourselves at times,” said the International Stadium boss, whose team now face a home game with Boreham Wood in the next round.
“I explained to the lads after the game how things need to improve. Guiseley caused us problems - more problems than I have had to see our two centre-halves have to deal with.
“When we have so many forward-thinking players, we just didn’t calve out enough chances from the situations we were in.
“There are things we really need to work on at both ends of the pitch. I’ve said before that we have a good sized squad, but it is a little unbalanced and that showed.
“Teams can come here and have a go, and we’ll have that in mind when we play Hartlepool on Boxing Day, who aren’t on a good run.
“But we’re really happy to be through, I saw at Macclesfield last season that the FA Trophy can be really good for the club.”
Assessing his start to life back in the north east, Watson is pleased with progress - but knows it’s been far from perfect.
“Performance wise since I have been here, we’ve picked up but I have been disappointed with some of the recent results,” he said. “There’s five or six points I think that we’ve left out there.
“The lads were pretty low when I got here and we’ve certainly improved since then but we’re a work in progress.”