Gracia: “I Am Very Proud Of Them”
Watch post-match reaction from Javi Gracia above following Watford's 2-1 win over Tottenham.
Javi Gracia agreed that Troy Deeney embodies everything that is currently good about this trailblazing Watford side who had Vicarage Road bouncing with a thrilling come-from-behind victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
Deeney, as he so often does, provided the catalyst for a remarkable turnaround by shaking Spurs to their core by knocking over Davison Sanchez just minutes before he headed in the equaliser. Craig Cathcart nodded in the winner to spark bedlam, but there was no doubting Deeney had turned this remarkable match on its head. There is no-one who quite gets the crowd going like the club's fourth all-time leading scorer.
"He is the captain, he is the spirit," said Gracia. "You can see he is always trying to be the example and trying to help everybody. Today he has been very important, not only scoring a goal but working hard for a lot of minutes. I arrived in January and from the first day he is the same, he doesn't change. He wants to win, he works a lot and he tries to be a good example for the rest of the players."
Deeney will be working alongside Gracia to ensure nobody is getting carried away by the team recording four straight wins for only the second time in the club's history, but they'll also make sure everybody enjoys this one. League victories over Spurs do not come around very often – once every 31 years to be precise.
"Everybody is happy because to get four wins in a row is not easy," said Gracia. "Everyone is enjoying it. It is a good moment, but we try to enjoy this knowing this is only the beginning."
Gracia did not believe Watford hit the heights they did against Chelsea in February, but what must please him is that they won this one without being at their best, which is a sign of a good and well-coached team.
"We have played better in other games," said the Head Coach. "Playing against Tottenham you have to do many things different. You have to be very demanding in your defensive work, work very hard. We conceded a goal in the second half and we had a very good reaction. We were confident until the end with the help of our supporters."
The game provided a real test of Gracia's tactical acumen and Spurs asked some real searching questions of his side.
"All the players have played an amazing game. I am very proud of them," he said. "We needed to close the gaps and stop the mobility of Alli, Lucas and Eriksen. They create many chances inside, so we have to defend and run. We always tried to look for solutions. The moment we scored we changed Success for Gray and after that we try to change and play with a line of four and then three centre-backs. We tried to adjust many things."
One thing Gracia does not need to tweak is Holebas' delivery from set-pieces. The former Greece international now has four assists and a goal this season after he slung over two pin-point crosses for Deeney and Cathcart to head in.
"He usually does it," said Gracia. "We have confidence when he take the set-pieces. He doesn't surprise me with his delivery. He's a good option for us."