Watford manager Gracia targets scalp of ‘amazing’ Burnley

Date published: Friday 6th April 2018 1:21 - Matthew Stead

Watford head coach Javi Gracia has challenged his side to put a dent in Burnley’s “amazing” campaign and take another step towards Premier League safety.

The Clarets currently lead the chasing pack outside the top six, and have recovered form in recent weeks with three straight wins.

Watford, meanwhile, head into the remaining six league fixtures on 37 points, nine clear of the bottom three.

Gracia is determined to concentrate on what his team can achieve.

Last weekend, Watford stopped a run of successive defeats with a 2-2 draw against Bournemouth – which would have been a victory were it not for a late equaliser from Jermain Defoe.

“Burnley are having an amazing season, but I am only focused on trying to make sure they lose their next game,” Gracia said at a press conference.

“I prefer to speak about my team. I see in this moment my players with ambition, they are very demanding of each other, and we will see where Watford finish at the end of the season.

“First of all we will try to reduce the distance between us (and Burnley). We will try to get three points and reduce the gap to six points. That is my objective in this moment.

“For sure, it is very meritorious what they (Burnley) are doing this season, but in the next game we will try to beat them.”

Midfielder Roberto Pereyra was on target against Bournemouth and Gracia hopes to see more of the same from the Argentinian over the closing weeks of the campaign.

“Roberto is playing really well the last games,” Gracia said, as quoted on the club’s official website.

“With the ball, without the ball, attacking and defending, he did a very big effort in the last game, especially in the last minutes, and I hope in the next games he keeps his level.”

Gracia, though, accepts his team cannot make the same collective errors as they did against Bournemouth.

The Cherries’ last-minute goal came after a free-kick was flicked on before being tucked away by substitute Defoe.

“We are trying to improve with all the defenders and we have worked this week about these kind of mistakes,” the Watford boss added.

“We have prepared for the next game and we know there will be a lot of long balls, crosses and these kind of situations.

“We know we need to improve if we are going to get the points from the next game.”


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