Javi Gracia sacked: Watford manager loses job after winless start with new appointment ‘imminent’

Watford have sacked manager Javi Gracia after the club’s struggling form at the end of the last season continued into the current campaign, and are set to announce an “imminent” replacement. 

Watford picked only one point from their opening four league games, earning a draw against Newcastle United following defeats by Brighton, Everton and West Ham United. 

Gravia’s backroom staff have also departed Vicarage Road ahead of what the club have described as an “imminent” appointment. 

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

Quique Sanchez Flores, who managed Watford during the 2015-16 season, is the early favourite to take over from his fellow Spanish manager Gracia. 

Flores enjoyed a positive spell in charge of the club but departed at the end of the campaign over differences with the boardroom, and took over at Espanyol. He is currently out of work having most recently been manager of Shanghai Shenhua in China. 

Gracia took over in January 2018 and took the club to their first FA Cup final in 35 years, where they were thrashed by Manchester City. Their league form slumped alarmingly in the build-up to the game, and Gracia failed to arrest the slide. 


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