First Team 23/04/2019

Gray: “It's One Point Earned”

Andre Gray admitted it was a point gained as Watford drew a frustrating game with Southampton at Vicarage Road on Tuesday night.

A win would have seen the Hornets go three points clear of Everton in seventh place in the Premier League table but after Shane Long scored the fastest goal on record after just 7.69 seconds, they had to settle for a share of the spoils after Gray bagged a late equaliser.

Nevertheless, the former Burnley man said that was the least the Golden Boys deserved after applying the pressure after Saints’ early strike.

Gray could have levelled almost straight after Long’s goal but saw Angus Gunn thwart him, while Roberto Pereyra was also denied in the second half by the visiting keeper.

“We didn’t have many clear-cut chances but, on a night where we were not at our best, we got a point,” said Gray.

“They outplayed us first half and had a lot of the ball. They were good on counterattack. It was tough for boys at the back when we were pushing for a goal.

“We knew we had to take risks to get ourselves back into it and that left Kaba [Christian Kabasele] one-on-one sometimes but he did fantastic.

“We were trying to find a way back into it and got one from a ricochet. It bounced around a bit, fell to me and I got something on it and maybe the keeper misjudged it.

“It's one point earned. We were losing and the game was getting on. Considering everything in the game, it was a good point and every one we get is massive for us.”

First Team 23/04/2019

Gracia: “I Am Always In Evolution”

Watford boss Javi Gracia admits he is a coach “always in evolution” as he bids to bring success to the Hornets.

The Golden Boys are looking to build on Saturday’s 2-1 win at Huddersfield Town when they welcome Southampton to Vicarage Road tonight.

The fixture is Watford’s game in hand over their rivals for seventh place in the Premier League table, with a win taking Gracia’s side above Everton, Leicester City and Wolves into a spot that would bring European football.

And the Spaniard has been drawing on all of his experiences from his homeland and further abroad as he bids to take the Hornets forward.

“You are always in evolution,” said Gracia. “You always try to improve. Not only because you are in England, or in Spain, or in Russia.

“You have different experiences and my mentality, my objective, is to try and improve with these different experiences.

“Now we are living in a different moment - it is evident. You know in football it always depends on the results, and in my opinion, I try to do my best to stay more time in this club.

Gracia signed a new deal in November 2018, committing him to Watford until 2023, with the option for a further three years.

“I only want to be useful; to help the club, to improve, and to grow day-by-day.

“I am happy with the players I have and with my club. I try to be fair with myself and with my club and try to do my best to help improve the team.”

The former Malaga and Rubin Kazan Head Coach has guided the Golden Boys to only their second FA Cup final in his first full season in charge, with seventh place a real possibility, especially with victory over the Saints.

However, Gracia believes the body of work undertaken by his players and staff this season already makes this a successful campaign.

Nevertheless, with Watford having one eye on the chance to land silverware on 18 May at Wembley, Gracia is excited at the prospect of sharing a magic moment with supporters.

“I have never won a title,” he added. “Then, if we are able to win one title, it would be the best [season as a manager].

“I don’t need to win a title to feel it was a successful season. I don’t need that reward, but for sure, I want to win titles and enjoy it with our supporters.”