Watford’s manager Javi Gracia has praised his team’s ability to get the job done, despite not being at their best, in the FA Cup win over Queens Park Rangers.
A single Etienne Capoue goal, scored in first-half stoppage-time, was just enough to fire Gracia’s men into the last eight of the competition. However, the game was a tight affair and QPR’s Toni Leistner should have drawn things level late on when he sent the ball wide with the goal at his mercy.
The Hornets’ head coach acknowledged his side’s inability to dominate the game as he would have liked, but took pleasure in the way they came through the encounter on top.
Speaking on the narrow win, as reported in the Watford Observer, Gracia said: “It was a very close game. QPR had their chances to score – the most clear at the end of the game – and we scored one goal at the end of the first half and it was enough to win the game.
“Maybe it wasn’t our best game today but we knew before it would be very demanding and we needed to defend well, the second balls, defend well the set pieces because this team’s [QPR’s] results in the Championship weren’t very good, but always competing very well, always scoring a lot of goals.”
Watford have enjoyed a strong Premier League campaign this season and have no chance of being dragged into a relegation battle. As a result of this, they can afford to really try and go deep into the FA Cup this season without having to worry too much about their league status.
Even so, and being just two games away from a cup final, Gracia was keen to not get too carried away.
“To speak about what we can do in the future maybe is a little lack of respect for the teams we are going to play against,” he explained. “We felt that playing against QPR we’ve suffered a lot and the game we play in the future will be very demanding, I’m sure of that, playing against a Premier League team or a Championship team as well.
“The thing we have to do is to keep working the way we are doing and to be focused on the next game. In this case we are going to play next Friday against Cardiff and we now focus on the Premier League. When we have to play in the FA Cup we will prepare for that game as best as possible.
“I don’t like to speak a lot about the past, I don’t like to speak about the future, I think football is present and the best way to have a good present is to be focused on that.”
Interestingly enough, Watford have yet to play a home tie in either cup competition this season. Gracia referenced that fact and said he was hoping for a home draw for the next round.
“We are playing a lot of games away. I’m very grateful to QPR for their warm welcome today but I want to play one cup game at home,” he stated. “I want to enjoy with my supporters, playing at Vicarage Road if it’s possible, but if we have to play away we’ll do it.