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Watford sack Gracia and bring in Quique Sánchez Flores

Captain Troy Deeney suggested the Hornets should stick with Javi Gracia, but his departure was confirmed by the club on Saturday.

Watford sack Gracia and bring in Quique Sánchez Flores

Watford have sacked head coach Javi Gracia four games into the new Premier League season, with Quique Sánchez Flores coming back to the club to take over.

The Hornets are bottom of the table having taken a single point but last term Gracia led them to the FA Cup final, where they were thrashed 6-0 by Manchester City.

Watford's poor form dates back to the end of the 2018-19 season, which they finished with three straight defeats.

Watford confirm Javi Gracia departure

"Javi has represented Watford with great dignity and will always be deserving of our fullest respect for his achievements," said chairman and chief executive Scott Duxbury.

Watford confirmed Gracia's staff will also be leaving the club, with the Hornets announcing the return of Quique Sánchez Flores just minutes later.

Players backed Gracia

Club captain Troy Deeney suggested in a recent interview that Gracia should be given time to turn the team's fortunes around.

"The manager is a big boy, he knows what he's doing – it's just part and parcel of the game," Deeney told Sky Sports. "People are always going to question the manager if we've lost a few games.

"It doesn't just happen at Watford, it happens everywhere, but the high turnover of managers at Watford was four or five years ago. Everyone thinks every year we change the manager and get a new one. We are trying to settle down."

Watford have had 10 bosses since Malky Mackay's departure in June 2011, with Walter Mazzarri and Marco Silva among their recent coaches.