Gracia stands by Hornets changes for City trip
Javi Gracia said his need to use Watford's squad and a big FA Cup tie was behind his decision to make seven changes at Manchester City.
The Hornets head coach rested a host of key players, including skipper Troy Deeney, for the game against the reigning champions at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening.
Gracia then watched as a Raheem Sterling hat-trick condemned his side to a 3-1 defeat with Gerard Deulofeu grabbing a consolation.
When quizzed about his decision to make so many changes, Gracia insisted that he needed to freshen things up and utilise his squad, while he also hinted that the FA Cup quarter-final against Crystal Palace at Vicarage Road this coming Saturday was on his mind.
"If I have to take my decision again, I will do it the same way," he said.
"I've chosen for this game these players, it’s because before the game I thought we needed fresh legs to compete today to defend well and run a lot.
"We have lost the game – in my opinion we've competed well against a very good team and now we can focus on the FA Cup, we will try to get a good result and try to carry on in that competition."
Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.