First Team 29/03/2019

Gracia: “These Three Points Are Very Important”

Watch Javi Gracia's pre-match press conference above, or read on below.


By Kevin Affleck

Javi Gracia is a real student of the game.

He will have noted with real interest how Manchester United have only won 13 of 54 matches against sides from his native Spain, losing 19 times. There must be something in the way the sides from La Liga – and it's not just Real Madrid and Barcelona, it's Sevilla, Valencia, Celta Vigo, Athletic Bilbao and Deportivo La Coruña, too – retain possession, play with such discipline and invention that outfoxes the Red Devils.

The Head Coach now faces the task of getting his cosmopolitan side to play with those same virtues at Old Trafford and give United another Spanish inquisition of sorts.

"I remember important games at Old Trafford," Gracia said. "I remember when Redondo did that amazing piece of skill [for Real Madrid against Henning Berg], but I always remember how good that United team was. It was a pleasure to see them play against Spanish teams. It was a strong team. Now it's a good chance for us to compete against this team because I know this experience will help us to improve and grow. It's good for us to play against a team like United."

Watford turned up at Old Trafford on the final day of last season with precious little to play for, except perhaps a few extra quid in prize money. They huffed and puffed, playing some attractive stuff at times, but they never really looked like spoiling Michael Carrick's farewell game. It's a different kettle of fish now. A point, let alone three, would be very handy in the race to be the best of the rest, while there are also semi-final spots at stake.

"It will be different," said Gracia. "In that moment, both teams were in a similar situation [with nothing to really play for]. We played with some different players, in different positions but I think now we are in a different moment with a lot of points in play. We want to win the points. In the last game [at Old Trafford] maybe the players were thinking other things, about finishing the season. Now we have a lot of things to do and these three points are very important for us and we try to show it during the game."

The game at Old Trafford on Saturday now carries extra significance as it will be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first since he became the permanent manager of United. The Theatre of Dreams will be in celebratory mood and the expectation will be for United to mark the occasion with a swashbuckling victory.

"First of all, congratulations to Solskjaer," said Gracia. "When the club extends the contract and the manager decides to stay, I am happy for them. In this moment, United are one of the teams in better form. I think they are playing very well. To play against United is always difficult, always very demanding. They have a very good squad and they can achieve whatever they want."

Javi and Jose were at the wheel when Watford last visited Old Trafford in May 2018

Watford have only lost by the odd goal in their last two matches with United, 1-0 at Old Trafford and then 2-1 at Vicarage Road. Gracia accepts the Red Devils are now a different animal under Solskjaer to the one they were under the pragmatic Jose Mourinho. 

"It will be different because they don't have the same players, it's a different coach," said Gracia. "They changed something, they are playing well, with confidence and are in a better moment. I think we always competed really well, losing games but very close games. I am sure we'll have our options if we play as we know."

Watford have not done too bad with Gracia at the wheel. The team should easily achieve their best ever Premier League finish and a second ever appearance in an FA Cup final is a distinct possibility. Don't expect the Spaniard to start chicken counting, though.

"We have to play eight games in the Premier League and I hope two in the FA Cup," he said. "Ten games and in these ten games, we have to show what we are able to do in the most important part of the season. I'm always focused on the next game. We've done this all season and it is the best way. We will continue in the same way. We have to take the right decisions and all the games are important, but now the most important game is United."


Manchester United operate a strict bag policy at Old Trafford so all travelling supporters are encouraged to click HERE for important information on restrictions.

First Team 29/03/2019

Away Tickets: Huddersfield On General Sale

Tickets for Watford’s Premier League trip to Huddersfield Town (Saturday April 20, 3pm KO) are now on general sale to Hornets supporters.

Earlier this season, Watford and Huddersfield announced a reciprocal ticket pricing arrangement, meaning that both sets of supporters will have benefitted from reduced away ticket prices during games involving the two clubs in 2018/19. 


The final day for posting of tickets will be Wednesday April 17, 4pm. We will not post any tickets after this date. Tickets purchased after this date will need to be collected from the Vicarage Road Ticket Office.

Tickets can continue to be purchased online up until Friday April 19, 12noon. Ticket sales after this time will be over the phone & in person only.


Please find useful information below for all supporters travelling to the John Smith's Stadium.

Away Supporters Guide | John Smith's Stadium Access Statement


Tickets will be available ONLINE ONLY via tickets.watfordfc.com.

The Ticket Office Hotline on 01923 223023 can be called to seek assistance with online account information and for other general ticketing enquiries.

TICKET PRICES

Adult: £25
65 & Over: £12.50
Full-Time Student: £12.50
18 & Under: £5

WHEELCHAIR & AMBULANT DISABLED

Same as above, with a free personal assistant.

AWAY GAMES: FAMILY AREA ALLOCATION

A dedicated area for family groups is now available at all of Watford's away games. These 'non-standing seats' are available by calling the Ticket Office on 01923 223023, and are subject to the usual Away Group A, B, C and D sales process.

Official club coaches: £10 per person. Departs from Greenhill Crescent at 8am. There will be a Milton-Keynes pick-up service in operation at approximately 8.45am.

Under-18s attending any away game and/or travelling on official club coaches unsupervised MUST ensure an UNDER-18 AWAY FIXTURE CONSENT FORM is signed by a parent or guardian and returned to the Ticket Office (either in-person, by emailing ticket.office@watfordfc.com or by post to Watford FC Ticket Office, Vicarage Road Stadium, Watford, Herts, WD18 0ER) before the day of the game.

SALES ARRANGEMENTS - WHO CAN BUY WHEN?

Wednesday March 27, 10am
- Away Group A

Wednesday March 27, 4pm
- Away Groups A & B

Thursday March 28, 10am
- Away Groups A, B & C

Thursday March 28, 4pm
- Away Groups A, B, C & D

Friday March 29, 10am
- General Sale 

Tickets are sold on a one per eligible Fan ID basis and subject to availability at all times.

AWAY FIRST ACCESS SALES GROUPS*

First Access Sales Groups mentioned below are specifically referred to and set out in the club's 2018/19 Away Match Ticket Sales Policy, available by clicking HERE:

Group A:
- ST holders 2018/19 with 15 or more away match ticket purchases under Fan ID record since July 2014

Group B:
- Non-ST holders with 15 or more away match ticket purchases under Fan ID record since July 2014

Group C:
- ST holders 2018/19 with less than 15 away match ticket purchases under Fan ID record since July 2014

Group D:
- Non-ST holder with between 1 and 14 away match ticket purchases under Fan ID record since July 2014

Regular sales updates will be published here at watfordfc.com and via Twitter @WatfordFC.

How to contact the Ticket Office:
ticket.office@watfordfc.com / 01923 223023