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Watford: Javi Gracia named head coach after sacking of Marco Silva

Javi Gracia was a defensive midfielder as a player

Watford have named Javi Gracia as their new head coach, hours after the Premier League club sacked Marco Silva.

Spaniard Gracia, who has signed an 18-month contract at Vicarage Road, has been out of work since leaving Russian club Rubin Kazan last June.

The 47-year-old previously spent two seasons with Spanish La Liga side Malaga, and also worked in Greece.

Gracia is the 10th manager to work for Watford under the Pozzo family since 2012.

The Hornets said Everton’s approach for Silva in November was the “catalyst” for their decision to sack him.

He was the eighth Premier League manager to lose his job this season, following changes at Crystal Palace, Everton, Leicester City, Stoke, Swansea, West Brom and West Ham.

Gracia, who will take training at Watford on Monday, led Malaga to consecutive top-10 finishes in La Liga with limited resources.

In his first season – 2014-15 – they held eventual champions Barcelona to a 0-0 draw at La Rosaleda before a famous 1-0 win at the Nou Camp.

The following season they drew twice with Real Madrid.

Watford are 10th place in the Premier League, four points above the relegation zone after Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Leicester.

Gracia’s first game in charge will be Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at Southampton.

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