PA Sport

Watford boss Javi Gracia wary of struggling Saints

Watford boss Javi Gracia wary of struggling Saints
By PA Sport

09/11/2018 at 16:44Updated 09/11/2018 at 18:33

Southampton are currently eight places and 12 points behind Gracia’s side.

Javi Gracia has warned Watford to be wary of Southampton on Saturday despite their lowly Premier League position.

Gracia’s men are currently eighth with 19 points, the highest tally the club have ever had after 11 matches of a top-flight season.

Southampton, a point clear of the relegation zone, have won only one league game this season, none of their last seven, and were thrashed 6-1 at Manchester City last weekend.

The last time they faced Watford was in January in Gracia’s first game in charge, an FA Cup tie at St Mary’s which the Saints – who have since replaced boss Mauricio Pellegrino with Mark Hughes – won 1-0.

Gracia said in quotes on “They are a different team with different players.

“I am sure Southampton will be very strong. We need to pay attention, to give our best because I am sure they are going to press very high.

“They keep the good players they had from last season and they have a good squad. They need the result, they need the points and they will be very, very dangerous.”

The 48-year-old Spaniard, who looks set to sign a new contract at Vicarage Road, was asked ahead of the clash with 16th-placed Saints if a Europa League place was a realistic target this term.

The Hornets boss replied: “The target is to try to win the next game.

“We respect all the teams because we know if we don’t give our 100 per cent in all the games, we don’t have the chance to get points.

“We could see in the last game (last Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Newcastle) – I think we played well, we did many things very well, but it wasn’t enough to get a good result.

“This (beating Southampton) is our target. You asked me about our target – this is our real target.

“After the last defeat, against Newcastle, we want to play in a way (that) we try to get a good result. I think we deserved a good result in the last game. In the next game we’ll try to get it.”