Gra­cia fu­ture still in doubt de­spite Wat­ford tri­umph

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - SOCCER -

ROBERTO PEREYRA and An­dre Gray scored to ease pres­sure on man­ager Javi Gra­cia as Wat­ford ended a seven-match win­less run. Fit-again cap­tain Troy Deeney missed a penalty, with Mag­pies keeper Martin Dubravka mak­ing a fine dou­ble save, while Ay­oze Perez’s im­pres­sive fin­ish came to nought for the vis­i­tors.

The bat­tling hosts threw their sup­port be­hind boss Gra­cia’s can­di­da­ture to re­main at the Hert­ford­shire helm next term, while New­cas­tle’s sea­son-end­ing malaise con­tin­ued.

For­mer Malaga boss Gra­cia has al­ready ad­mit­ted he does not know whether he will still be Wat­ford coach next sea­son, given the Hor­nets’ man­age­rial pol­icy.

Gra­cia only ar­rived in Jan­uary, be­come Wat­ford’s eighth man­ager five years.

Pereyra’s fifth goal of the sea­son rub­ber-stamped Wat­ford’s high-oc­tane open­ing, the Ar­gentina mid­fielder blast­ing home to cap a neat build-up.

Then Pereyra’s fine hang­ing cross left Gray no op­tion but to nod into the empty net.

Wat­ford should have turned around three goals to the good, only for the in­spired Dubravka to deny Deeney both from the penalty spot and the re­bound.

Paul Dum­mett up­ended Gray in the box, only for Deeney to let the north-east side off the hook.

When Rafael Ben­itez’s New­cas­tle fi­nally pro­duced a move of sub­stance, af­ter the break, they found the net.

The out­stretched Perez ex­pertly redi­rected Javier Man­quillo’s whipped cross for his sixth league goal of the cam­paign. re­volv­ing-door

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