Gracia future still in doubt despite Watford triumph
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