English Premiership

Javi Gracia "respects" Watford decision

Javi Gracia.(Getty Images)
Javi Gracia.(Getty Images)

Cape Town - Manager Javi Gracia has refused to criticise Watford after the "unexpected announcement" of his sacking on Saturday.

The Hornets decided to ditch Gracia on Saturday and opted to re-appoint former boss Quique Sanchez Flores as their new head coach.

Flores returns to the club just over three years after he departed following a sole season in charge but Gracia is unhappy with the manner of his exit, even though his side's form so far this season has not been good.

Watford lost their first three games and then managed a draw last time out at Newcastle but they are bottom of the table and, heading into the international break, the pressure was building on Gracia.

He left Vicarage Road after Watford managed just one win in their last 10 matches, stretching over last season in a run that goes back to April, while they got to the FA Cup final but were hammered 6-0 by Manchester City at Wembley.

Gracia says he "respects the decision" and says he is "grateful" for the experience of managing in the Premier League but admitted he was surprised to learn he had been fired.

He said in a statement: "After the unexpected announcement about the termination of my contract after only four matches, I want to express my surprise after competing the best season in Watford's history.

"I respect this decision and I'd like to reassure the excellent relationship I have with Gino Pozzo and Filippo Giradi, and it is not going to change despite my abrupt exit of the club.

"I am grateful to this club for allowing me to manage this great club in the Premier League, it has been an incredible experience, with very special moments like the FA Cup final I had the privilege to enjoy."

Flores now becomes Watford's fourth different manager in four years and his first game back in charge is at home to Arsenal next Sunday.

- TeamTalk Media

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