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Watford boss Javi Gracia confident new trio will boost Hornets

The Hornets head into the weekend four points above the relegation zone.

Javi Gracia is confident Watford’s new signings will help steer his under-performing side to Premier League safety.

The Hornets have managed just one win from their last 12 Premier League matches and, despite sitting 11th in the table, are just four points above the relegation places.

Watford completed loan deals for Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu – who played 88 minutes against Stoke on Wednesday – and Sunderland’s Didier Ndong in the closing days of the window. Dodi Lukebakio also arrived at Vicarage Road after he completed a permanent switch from Anderlecht.

The Hornets host Chelsea on Monday night, and Gracia, who will be making only his third outing as the club’s new manager, believes the trio of new signings will add much-needed depth to his squad.

“We now have three new players in positions where we needed to improve,” Gracia said. “I am confident they will give us good results with good performances and good games.

“Ndong is a position where we needed to have more possibilities. Lukebakio can play either side of midfield and Gerard is also a player that can play on the right and left and with good quality to attack.

“The players are with us now and we are very happy to have got them. I hope they will be better for the club and that is all I am focused about.”

Gracia oversaw Watford’s first clean sheet in more than two months after taking charge of his opening league fixture in the goalless draw at Stoke.

And the 47-year-old Spaniard believes defence will continue to be the best form of attack as he bids to ensure the club’s survival in the top flight.

“The clean sheet against Stoke was following good work by all the team, not only the defenders, and this is the best way to improve and grow,” Gracia added.

“Our team needs to grow from matches like we had the other night, and to be strong, aggressive and to win individual battles. This way, I think we can be stronger and better.”

Gracia could hand debuts to Ndong and Lukebakio for the visit of the Premier League champions, but he will continue to be without goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes who is sidelined with a back complaint.

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph