Gracia urges Watford to show no mercy to relegated Huddersfield
The Hornets are looking to complete a league double over the Terriers.
Javi Gracia has challenged Watford to rub salt into relegated Huddersfield’s wounds as they attempt to mount a rousing finish to the season.
The Hornets head for the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday looking to complete a Premier League double over the Terriers after recording a 3-0 win in the reverse fixture in October.
Huddersfield’s return to the Sky Bet Championship was confirmed last month with six games still to play but, while they have won only once in their last 21 league games, Gracia will take nothing for granted.
He told the club’s official website: “In this moment, they are in a difficult situation, but they are a team with a lot of virtues offensively.
“They pass well, they create chances, they attack well offensively and from set pieces they are good. They have a good balance in the team.
“We have to be able to take advantage of the fact they are in a difficult moment and try to show who is the team who wants to improve their position in the table. We have to show it in the game as it will be a demanding game.”
Watford currently sit in 10th place in the table on 46 points – five more than they managed in the whole of last season – with five games still to play and with an FA Cup final against Manchester City to come.
However, they will be without talisman Troy Deeney for three of those fixtures as a result of his red card against Arsenal on Monday evening.
Midfielder Etienne Capoue is likely to wear the captain’s armband in Deeney’s place this weekend, but Gracia has called upon his leaders to come forward to plug a sizeable gap.
He said: “Capoue has always been a leader. There are different leaders in the team who lead in different situations and in different moments.
“All of them have different personalities. Sometimes [Adrian] Mariappa’s opinion is the best for the team and other times, Capoue’s is the best.
“What’s important is we have different, important players who are all leaders. The first thing for all of them is the team. When we have one important player out, the rest of the team keep going and playing the same way.”
Deeney joins the injured Domingos Quina, Tom Cleverley, Jose Holebas and Adalberto Penaranda on the sidelines, but Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra are due to have late fitness tests.