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Javi Gracia was sacked as Watford manager on Saturday following his poor start to the season

‘I want to express my surprise after completing the best season in Watford’s history’: Javi Gracia speaks out on his ‘unexpected’ and ‘abrupt’ termination as Hornets manager

  • Javi Gracia was sacked as Watford manager on Saturday following his poor start
  • The Hornets announced Quique Sanchez Flores as his replacement soon after
  • Gracia guided Watford to their highest finish in the Premier League last season
  • The Spaniard said in a statement that he is ‘surprised’ by his ‘abrupt’ termination 
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Javi Gracia has admitted that he was surprised by Watford’s ‘unexpected’ and ‘abrupt’ decision to sack him as manager on Saturday.

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The Spaniard released a statement 24 hours after his contract was terminated by the Hornets, where he expressed his confusion over the decision made by the club.

After just one win in his last 10 matches, club officials decided Gracia’s time at Vicarage Road had to end and reinstated former boss Quique Sanchez Flores as his successor.

Javi Gracia was sacked as Watford manager on Saturday following his poor start to the season

Javi Gracia was sacked as Watford manager on Saturday following his poor start to the season 

Gracia released a statement on his sacking where he revealed his surprise at the decision

Gracia released a statement on his sacking where he revealed his surprise at the decision

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Gracia released a statement on his sacking where he revealed his surprise at the decision

Flores was announced as the club’s new boss just 30 minutes after Gracia’s sacking, something which came at a big surprise to the 49-year-old considering what he achieved during his time at the club.

Gracia guided the Hornets to their best Premier League finish of 11th last campaign, while they also impressively reached the FA Cup final in May. 

‘After the unexpected announcement about the termination of my contract after only four matches, I want to express my surprise after completing the best season in Watford’s history,’ Gracia said in a statement.

‘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.

Quique Sanchez Flores was named Watford boss for a second time after Gracia's exit
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Quique Sanchez Flores was named Watford boss for a second time after Gracia's exit

Quique Sanchez Flores was named Watford boss for a second time after Gracia’s exit

‘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.

‘I want to thank every single person who works for this club and has made my everyday very easy. My gratefullness and love for this club will be eternal.

‘And finally, I want to thank the fans for supporting me the way they did from day one, until my last. I will always wish the fans and these players the best.’

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Gracia was less than one year into his four-and-a-half year contract. He took over from Marco Silva in January 2018.