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We're upsetting the odds at Watford, claims Gracia

Omnisport
NEWS
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279   //    30 Aug 2018, 23:05 IST
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Watford manager Javi Gracia

Watford head coach Javi Gracia said his side's early-season form has defied many pundits' Premier League predictions as he revealed the scale of the injury crisis he inherited at Vicarage Road.

Gracia arrived at Watford in January 2018 following the dismissal of Marco Silva and managed just four league victories in the remainder of his first campaign as the Hornets finished 14th in the table.

That form prompted speculation Gracia's tenure could be cut short but after winning three out of three at the start of 2018-19, he explained how his early days in charge were hampered by injuries.

"They had me down as the first sacking among the 20 Premier League managers," Gracia told AS. "But we've already managed to turn that prediction on its head a little. 

"When we arrived in England in January, I had 13 injuries, which was crazy. The time that we've been together, plus pre-season, has helped us to get to know each other and prepare.

"Last year we had to take it week by week in an attempt to halt a negative dynamic, particularly in a situation with lots of instability and very few players available."

Watford beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 on the opening day of the season before claiming a 3-1 victory at Burnley and then winning 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace.

Gracia offered an update on the current situation in the club's treatment room, saying: "[Stefano] Okaka had surgery and is currently recovering. He'll get some playing time soon.

"Gerard Deulofeu went on holiday with a foot injury and has had different treatments. When he came back he was okay, but it's still giving him some problems.

"Tom Cleverley is still sidelined after surgery on his Achilles.

"I'm not complaining, to be honest. And even less so with the start to the season we've had.

"Everything looks good."

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