First Team 20/04/2019

Gracia: “Deulofeu Is Scoring Important Goals”

Watch Javi Gracia's post-match interview above, or read on below.

By Kevin Affleck

Javi Gracia is always preaching how the whole is greater than the sum of its individual and it’s a maxim that has served the team so well this season, but he could do little else other than praise Gerard Deulofeu after the Spaniard won the game at Huddersfield with another pair of goals.

In his first appearance since he turned the FA Cup semi-final with Wolves on its head, Deulofeu threaded the opener into the far corner after just five minutes and then made the game safe ten minutes from time with his 11th of the season. He now has eight in his last nine games.

“He’s scoring important goals,” said Gracia, “very good goals. All goals are good for me, but in this this moment Gerard is scoring and living in an important moment for him and the team. Even when he didn’t score, he is showing a good commitment for the club and trying to help the team.”

The first goal was crucial as it knocked the stuffing out of Huddersfield, andsmeant the Terriers had to come at the Hornets and allowed the visitors to play their favoured counter-attacking game.

“In that moment, it was good for us,” said Gracia. “We had control, we didn’t suffer and we had the possession. We had that goal and were then trying to score the second one. Gerard shows his quality with the goal.”

Deulofeu has always had the ability – you don't play for Barcelona and AC Milan without having something about you – but Gracia is now getting him to realise his part in the team and the importance of doing the ugly side of the game.

“We all have many things to improve and it is my job to try and help them improve,” said Gracia. “Speaking about Gerard, he has played in different positions, in different shapes and is an important player for us. He gets recognition when he scores goals, but in my opinion he is always doing a good job for the team.”

Jan Siewert, the Huddersfield coach, did his homework on Deulofeu in the week but forewarned doesn’t necessarily mean you are always forearmed.

“He is a great player,” said Siewert. “When I was working at the German FA and we played against Spain, I knew what a threat he was. He was hard to defend against when he was a young player and it is even harder now he is older. It is great to for Gracia to have a player like this in his squad.”

First Team 20/04/2019

Fixtures: Chelsea Away Moved

Watford's trip to Chelsea next month has been rescheduled due to the home team's involvement in the Europa League semi-finals.

The Premier League game at Stamford Bridge has moved from Saturday May 4 to Sunday May 5, with a 2pm kick-off.

Ticketing details will be confirmed shortly.

No further 2018/19 fixture amendments will be made, following confirmation the final day home match against West Ham will kick-off at 3pm on Sunday May 12.