Wednesday 18 September 2019

Watford manager Javi Gracia signs new long-term deal until 2023 after bright start to Premier League season

Watford boss Javi Gracia (Dave Howarth/PA Images)
Watford boss Javi Gracia (Dave Howarth/PA Images)

Watford manager Javi Gracia has signed a new four-and-a-half-year deal with the Vicarage Road club.

The Spaniard, who took over in January following Marco Silva's dismissal, could now remain at the Hornets until 2023.

Gracia, 48, was named Barclays Premier League manager of the month in August following his side's 100 per cent start to the campaign, which included a 2-1 victory at home against Tottenham.

His side travel to Leicester on Saturday ninth in the Premier League table, and with 20 points from their opening 13 fixtures, but without a victory in their last three appearances.

"I am very happy to extend my contract," Gracia said. "I am very proud in this moment to be part of this club and to belong here for more seasons."

Scott Duxbury, the Watford chairman and chief executive, added: "We are delighted that Javi has agreed an extension to his contract.

"From day one it was clear that Javi worked well with us and shared our vision of how to achieve success for Watford Football Club, and we are looking forward to continuing that work together for many years to come."

Gracia, the former Malaga and Rubin Kazan head coach, was the 10th manager to be appointed by the Pozzo family since their takeover at Watford in 2012.

Out of work since he departed Russian club Rubin Kazan in June 2017, he took the reins of a Watford squad which had been victorious in just one of their previous 11 Premier League fixtures.

But Gracia won his opening three home league fixtures, with his side recording a famous 4-1 win over Chelsea, to secure their Premier League safety.

Yet, following a poor end to his opening campaign, overseeing just one victory from nine matches, there was speculation the club's trigger-happy owners would sack him in the summer.

But Watford's promising start to this term has convinced the hierarchy to provide Gracia with a new, long-term contract as he approaches a full year in charge at Vicarage Road.

PA Media

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