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Watford sack manager Javi Gracia after poor start

Javi Gracia, Watford, Premier League
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Javi Gracia became the first managerial casualty of the new Premier League season after Watford gave him his marching orders.

Gracia had been in charge of Watford since January 2018 after replacing the fired Marco Silva. He guided them to safety in the Premer League during his first six months before enjoying an impressive first full campaign.

The Spaniard, who won the August 2018 Manager of the Month award, led Watford to the FA Cup final last season. They nearly got a top-10 Premier League as well only to finish just two points off West Ham United.

Things this term, however, have gotten off to a disastrous start with the Hornets. Currently, the club sit bottom of the standings with just a single point in their opening four matches.

Gracia, therefore, has paid the ultimate price for Watford’s dismal start.

“Watford Football Club confirms the departure of Head Coach Javi Gracia,” read a club statement.

“Javi Gracia’s staff will also be leaving the club, ahead of the imminent appointment of a new coaching team.

“Everyone at the Hornets wishes Javi and his staff all the very best for the future, and they will always be welcome visitors in the future at Vicarage Road.”

Club chairman and chief executive Scott Duxbury added: “Javi has represented Watford with great dignity and will always be deserving of our fullest respect for his achievements.”

Although Watford have acted swiftly in announcing former manager Quique Sanchez Flores as Gracia’s replacement.

The Spaniard, who left Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua in July, coached Watford during the 2015/16 campaign, where he led them to a respectable 13th-place Premier League finish and the FA Cup semi-finals.

Flores will make his return to the Vicarage Road dugout next weekend in a Premier League match against Arsenal.