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No honeymoon period for new Watford boss Javi Gracia

Javi Gracia replaced Marco Silva at Vicarage Road last week.

New Watford head coach Javi Gracia believes he has to hit the ground running by securing victory over Southampton in the FA Cup on Saturday.

The Hornets appointed the former Osasuna and Malaga boss to replace Marco Silva, who was sacked last week after overseeing a run featuring one win in 11 Premier League games.

Gracia, 47, begins life in the job with an FA Cup fourth-round tie against Saints and feels he has no honeymoon period to enjoy at Vicarage Road.

“I don’t know what the meaning is of being relaxed,” he said.

“I am not relaxed, I’m always looking forward the next match. I need a good result, I need it, as it is my first experience here.

“I want to make a really good job. I am not relaxed. I try to keep calm in games but if you want the players to have a good performance than I need to keep a good attitude – it is important to send a message with motivation and confidence.”

Gracia arrives with Watford’s squad ravaged by injuries, with captain Troy Deeney also now likely to miss out at Southampton through illness.

Watford skipper Deeney is struggling with illness ahead of the trip to Southampton.

But the Pamplona-born former midfielder is not prepared to use his lack of options as an excuse for a slow start.

“I don’t think about the injured players,” he said.

“We have 18 players maybe and with that we are going to have a good performance, a good match and we need to go on this competition.

“I’m not thinking about it (the number of injuries) at this moment or if we have more or less possibilities of players (returning to the squad).”

Gracia admitted on Thursday he does not know how long he will be in charge of Watford as he became the club’s 10th head coach since Gino Pozzo took ownership in 2012.

Pozzo (centre) has now appointed 10 head coaches since taking charge of Watford in 2012.

He has signed an initial 18-month deal and intends to devote all his time to football – until his family arrive from Spain.

Asked if he had interests away from the game, Gracia replied: “No. I breathe football all the time.

“I’m alone here and my family is in Spain so for now, 24 hours – when they are here? Maybe 23!”


From Belfast Telegraph