We don’t need any extra motivation for Wolves clash, says Watford boss Gracia
The Hornets are locked in a battle for seventh place.
Watford boss Javi Gracia does not expect his side or Wolves to need any extra motivation when the top-seven hopefuls clash at Vicarage Road.
The pair are separated by just a point heading into the final three matches of the battle to finish best of the rest – which could end up securing Europa League qualification.
Earlier this month, Watford fought back from 2-0 down to beat Wolves after extra-time in their FA Cup semi-final to secure a return to Wembley against title-chasers Manchester City on May 18.
Gracia expects nothing else than another stern test from Nuno Espirito Santo’s men, who have more than held their own back in the top flight and beat Arsenal 3-1 at Molineux on Wednesday night.
“They will be motivated, but we are as well,” the Watford boss said.
“All of us want to win the game to achieve a better position, so I don’t need any extra motivation to play tomorrow.
“In this moment, the league is our target. When the league finishes, we have time to prepare for the (FA Cup) final.
“We want to play as better as possible in the next game to try and better our position.
“We will try to achieve the points as we know how important it is to have a good chance to achieve seventh place.”
Watford won 2-0 at Wolves in October, but Gracia warned against complacency.
“We are playing against Wolves, but they are a different team from the first two matches,” Gracia said at his pre-match press conference.
“In the first game they played with a midfield two and then three in front. Then, in the second one, they played with three in midfield plus two in front.
“I thought it was better to play the way we did in the second game (with a diamond). Now I have to decide what is best for my players to play against them, but the most important thing is ourselves, what we do.
“Both games have been very tough, very equal games and we know it will be the same in this situation.”
Watford are set for a best Premier League finish, and could yet match the points tally of 53 from Graham Taylor’s team in the 1985-86 campaign.
“I think during the season we’ve been in a good position in the table. I have spoken about this before, but the end position will be a consequence of all the things we have done before,” Gracia said.
“If we focus just on the next game, we have more chances to achieve this position.”
Troy Deeney serves the final game of a three-match suspension. The striker also sat out the midweek 1-1 draw against Southampton – where Shane Long had scored the fastest goal in Premier League history after just 7.69 seconds only to be cancelled out by a 90th-minute equaliser from Andre Gray.
The club confirmed on Friday they were set to receive an additional allocation of between 1,500 and 2,000 tickets for the FA Cup final.