Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We Don't Have to Play with Spanish Flair, Insists Gracia

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We Don't Have to Play with Spanish Flair, Insists Gracia

Article excerpt

Byline: Giuseppe Muro Football Correspondent

JAVI GRACIA is not a Spanish coach who is obsessed with possession-based 'tiki-taka' football and the new Watford boss says he will adapt his style to suit the players at Vicarage Road.

Gracia, 47, has showed throughout his managerial career that he is not set on a certain way of playing -- and he has delivered the first insight into his tactics. "First of all, I like to win," he says ahead of his first match in charge against Southampton in the FA Cup at St Mary's tomorrow.

"There are many ways to win. I am Spanish and it is possible from my experience in that country as a player and a coach that I have that influence.

"But in Spain there are different styles, too. Everyone speaks about passing games and attractive [football]. The game is a balance between many things, not only good passes but good defence, transition, set-pieces and dominating all different phases of the play. To be competitive you need to do many things well."

Gracia has had five days to work with the Watford squad since he was appointed to replace Marco Silva last Sunday -- and he is still deciding on the best way to play.

He is the 10th manager to work for Watford under the Pozzo family since 2012 and has admitted he does not know how long he will be in charge.

Gracia, who signed an 18-month contract, said: "I would like to be here a long time but I do not know.

"The life of a coach depends on many things like results. I am confident I am different and can do it.

"We need to get good results because the coach leaves due to results."

Gracia claims to have watched every Watford game this season and says he knows where the team were going wrong under Silva.

Watford have managed just one win in 11 League games and are four points above the relegation zone.

Gracia could be without 10 first-team players tomorrow so his options for the trip to the south coast are limited.

Troy Deeney is ill and is out along with Heurelho Gomes, Molla Wague, Tom Cleverley, Craig Cathcart, Younes Kaboul, Miguel Britos, Kiko Femenia, Will Hughes and Isaac Success. …

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