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Gracia was 'never afraid' of West Ham turnaround in Watford win

23 Dec 2018, 00:14 IST
Watford coach Javi Gracia

Javi Gracia insists he was "never afraid" of West Ham after Watford left the London Stadium with a 2-0 win on Saturday.

The Hammers went into the match with four successive wins in the Premier League, but they came unstuck against the high-flying Hornets.

Troy Deeney opened the scoring with an emphatic penalty after Fabian Balbuena tripped Roberto Pereyra in the area in the 30th minute.

West Ham applied pressure and had chances, but they were unable to make the most of them – Javier Hernandez guilty of the worst miss when fluffing his lines from eight yards.

Gerard Deulofeu then put the game beyond West Ham three minutes from time after being released by Pereyra, and Gracia is adamant he was confident of taking the points regardless of West Ham's improvement.

"It's always important to win," Gracia told BBC Sport. "They had won the last four, but we kept the same level we did in the last performance to get another win.

"Playing away here you always have to be ready to defend, but I was never afraid. It's true they had many chances, but we also created many clear chances.

"You have to suffer a lot, but at the end of the game we got the result we deserved. It was an open game, but we deserved the victory.


"We have a lot of games, so we don't have time to speak about our position. We are improving. We started playing well with four wins, after that we have competed well with good and bad results."

Gracia's counterpart Manuel Pellegrini felt West Ham were more than worthy of a point, however.

"I think we deserved a little bit more, at least to draw the game, as we had too many options," he said.

"We played most of the game one goal behind and it is always more difficult for the team to play under pressure and it's easier for Watford [once they had the lead].

"They are a very good team and they played a good game and when you are winning 1-0 you have more time to prepare the actions in the last third.

"Maybe we felt the pressure losing 1-0 at the beginning of the game, but there are so many things in football that can happen and be why you don't score.

"In the last game [at Fulham] we had two chances and we scored two, but today we couldn't score one."

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