Monday 21 October 2019

Gracia taking it day by day as he looks to unlock Watford potential

The Hornets remain on course for their best finish in the Premier League.

Watford manager Javi Gracia believes his side can continue to improve (Simon Galloway/PA)
Watford manager Javi Gracia believes his side can continue to improve (Simon Galloway/PA)

By Press Association Sport staff

Javi Gracia has challenged his Watford team to discover their potential and create something special this season.

The Hornets host Leicester and new boss Brendan Rodgers on Sunday looking to respond to the 5-0 midweek defeat at leaders Liverpool.

Despite their poor showing at Anfield, the Hornets remain on course for a top-half finish – which they have never achieved in the Premier League.

Watford could yet secure seventh place, which would represent their best top-flight campaign since 1983.

Gracia, though, is determined to take things one match at a time in pursuit of the end goal.

“We don’t really know what is our potential, it is something we have to create, to do day by day,” said the Spaniard.

“But if we are demanding and try to improve, maybe we can achieve something different, something special and next season we can improve.

“We have to do it by working and trying to improve day by day.”

Despite continued progress and an FA Cup quarter-final on the horizon, the former Malaga and Rubin Kazan boss wants to focus on maintaining consistency.

“To speak about the positions now is not real to me, because there are 10 games left,” said Gracia, who replaced Marco Silva in January 2018, and recently agreed a new contract extension.

“Now is the moment we have to show what we are able to do – not just only in the next game, because if you win that and then lose the rest, you will not do anything.”

Gracia added at a press conference reported by the club: “It is important to keep our level in all the games.

“Yes, we can be able to have a gap to the other teams if we beat Leicester, but I prefer to focus on game by game, then at the end of the season, we will see what we have been able to do.”

Gracia indicated he could hand Andre Gray an opportunity against the Foxes following some impressive displays by the forward when coming off the bench.

“Andre is always a good option for us,” the Watford boss said.

“He showed this against Everton when he came on and scored an important goal for the team, and it is true in the last games he had some chances to score and he is playing well.”

Gracia added: “Andre is competing against Troy (Deeney), who in Cardiff scored two goals, and Gerard (Deulofeu) who scored three, so it is not easy.

“But it is good for the team because I know that the moment the team needs one of them they are ready to play.”

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