GRACIA PLEASED AS HORNETS STING EAGLES TO REACH FA CUP FINAL BY AYODELE ODUMADE AT VICARAGE ROAD Watford FC reached their second FA Cup Semi Final in four years as they beat Crystal Palace 2-1 thanks to goals from Etienne Capoue and second half substitute Andre Gray. Capoue’s goal came from a corner.
GRACIA PLEASED AS HORNETS STING EAGLES TO REACH FA CUP FINAL
BY AYODELE ODUMADE AT VICARAGE ROAD
Watford FC reached their second FA Cup Semi Final in four years as they beat Crystal Palace 2-1 thanks to goals from Etienne Capoue and second half substitute Andre Gray. Capoue’s goal came from a corner. Michy Batshuayi brought Palace level for a while after robbing former Palace player Adrian Mariappa of the ball. That was the first goal the Hornets had conceded in the competition this season. Their coach Javi Gracia said: I enjoyed that moment. In the moment when the team was suffering the fans were very important. I think the fans should be very proud of our players.”
Andre Gray scored the winner for Watford with his first touch as substitute and the Manager said: “I am not surprised. He did it in our last game. He had chances to score and he is finishing very well. He is scoring important goals for the team. It was a difficult to decision to take off Will Hughes because the game was open. But it worked for the team.
“I enjoyed that moment. In the moment when the team was suffering the fans were very important. I think the fans should be very proud of our players. “
Heurelho Gomes who is set to retire at the end of the season was in goal for Watford and played his part in this win. Gracia was asked about his thoughts on him and he said:” He is a very important player for us on the pitch when he plays and when he does not play. But today he had a chance to play and I was pleased for him. He played well. He could show his qualities with a good result. We are now in the semi-final and we can carry on in this competition. I listened to many things about him this week on if today would be Gomes’ last game here. But it is not so important to me. For me the most important thing is he is enjoying with the team and we will see what happens in the future. There is no clear decision about him and we will have to speak about it in the future.”
Watford have never won a trophy in their history and the closest the ever came was in 1984 when their late Manager Graham Taylor took them to the final. Gracia was asked what it would mean to him to win it. “At this moment I am happy because at the beginning the club trusted me. Now everyone trusts me. They will be happy with me. It is the most important thing to me. We will see in the future. I don’t know if we will be able to play in the final but at this moment it is our target. We will play with the same mentality we have played this season. We will be demanding and competitive.”
The last manager to win the FA Cup outside the top six sides was Gracia’s compatriot Roberto Martinez. The Voice of Sport asked the Watford boss if he was trying to emulate him and he said: “We are the first team to reach the semi-final. We will wait for the draw and try and enjoy the semi-final. We need to keep the same mentality and I think this way we will be able to achieve something big. To be honest the priority now is the Manchester United game in a couple of weeks.”