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Settled Gracia enjoying life at Watford as Hornets continue Premier League rise

PA | 2mo
The Spaniard replaced Marco Silva at Vicarage Road in January 2018.

Javi Gracia says Watford feels like home after becoming the club's longest-serving Premier League manager.

Spaniard Gracia, appointed in January 2018, took charge of the Hornets for the 39th time in the top flight during Saturday's goalless draw at Brighton.

There has been a high turnover of managers at Vicarage Road in recent seasons, with Quique Sanchez Flores, Walter Mazzarri and Marco Silva all coming and going since promotion from the Championship in 2015.

But Gracia, who has a contract until 2023, is settled and enjoying life in Hertfordshire.

"To achieve something like that I think the most important thing is to keep always focused on the next day," the 48-year-old said of his record.

"From the moment I arrived here I can say I felt very comfortable and I think it's a club where I'm feeling really well.

"I don't know the time other coaches have been, I don't know my future in this club but I'm enjoying the present and trying to do my best.

"I don't like to speak about the future, I don't like to speak about the past. I prefer to be focused on the present because I think it's the best way to achieve important things.

"In this team, it's our ambition in this moment to try to be demanding and try to continue in the next games keeping our level and at the end of the season we'll see where we are.

"But nothing special about me, I prefer to be focused on the team."

Watford climbed to eighth in the table following the stalemate at the Amex Stadium.

The Hornets were second best on the south coast and would have left empty-handed had it not been for an inspired performance from goalkeeper Ben Foster.

Albion, who have now picked up just two points from five league games in 2019, were dealt a blow in the build-up to the game when midfielder Dale Stephens pulled out injured in the warm-up to be replaced by Yves Bissouma.

Mali international Bissouma has now made nine league starts since his £15million summer move from French club Lille and Seagulls boss Chris Hughton expects the 22-year-old to push for more regular first-team football.

"Bissouma showed a lot of the qualities that he has," said Hughton.

"I think he needs more games and I think he'll continue to develop with us.

"He's a younger player with really good ability and was certainly not fazed by the late call-up."



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1Manchester CityMan City34282487226586
2Liverpool34267177205785
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs342211164352967
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Watford34147134949049
8Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34139124142-148
10Everton34137144644246
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
13Bournemouth35125184962-1341
14Crystal Palace34116174046-639
15Burnley34116174260-1839
16Southampton3499164057-1736
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3497183253-2134
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914
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1Manchester CityMan City34282487226586
2Liverpool34267177205785
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs342211164352967
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Watford34147134949049
8Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34139124142-148
10Everton34137144644246
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
13Bournemouth35125184962-1341
14Crystal Palace34116174046-639
15Burnley34116174260-1839
16Southampton3499164057-1736
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3497183253-2134
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914
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