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Watford sign manager Gracia to new long-term contract

Watford FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League

WATFORD, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 24: Javi Gracia, Manager of Watford looks on prior to the Premier League match between Watford FC and Liverpool FC at Vicarage Road on November 24, 2018 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)

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If his first 11 months in charge is a sign of things to come, Watford may have finally found a permanent manager for the future.

With his deal set to expire at the end of this season, Watford made sure to lock down its coach, signing manager Javi Gracia to a new four-and-a-half year contract. Gracia currently has Watford in ninth place in the table, with 20 points from 13 games. Despite a recent bad string of results - three consecutive defeats - the team is still two points out of sixth place, following a torrid start of the season, when the club won its first four Premier League games.

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“We are delighted that Javi has agreed an extension to his contract,” Watford chairman and CEO Scott Duxbury said in a statement. “From day one it was clear that Javi worked well with us and shared our vision of how to achieve success for Watford Football Club, and we are looking forward to continuing that work together for many years to come.”

Gracia joined Watford in January 2018 after the club parted ways with now-Everton manager Marco Silva. Gracia tightened up his squad’s defense and led his side to some big wins, perhaps none bigger than the 4-1 thrashing of Chelsea in early February.

Since returning to the Premier League in 2015, Watford has had four different managers. Perhaps Gracia can buck the trend started by the Pozzo family who own the club, and stay on for longer.