Javi Gracia: I’ll toast Newcastle Brown to Graham Taylor if Watford beat Burnley

Javi Gracia will toast a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale to Graham Taylor if Watford beat Burnley on Saturday.

Watford will mark the two-year anniversary of Taylor’s death with a scarf tribute before kick-off at Vicarage Road, while fans will also be given a complimentary drink in his honour.

Former England boss Taylor, who is regarded as Watford’s greatest-ever manager after he took the club from the fourth division to the top tier in just five years, died on January 12, 2017, aged 72.

Woking manager Alan Dowson gave Gracia a bottle of his native Newcastle Brown Ale following their FA Cup third-round clash earlier this month.

“It is sitting there, and I am waiting for a good moment to have it, so if we win this game, that might be the moment,” said Gracia.

“I am looking forward to seeing the (scarf) display, and I want to enjoy the moment and celebrate the memories of Graham Taylor.

“It will be good for the team to see everyone; the fans, the players, and the club together, because together we are stronger.”

Gracia, who will on Monday mark one year in charge of Watford after he was appointed to succeed Marco Silva, has guided the Hornets to a lofty seventh in the Premier League table.

His side will head into Saturday’s fixture against Burnley with just one defeat – a 2-1 Boxing Day loss to Chelsea – from their last seven league matches.

“My personal style is to try to be as I am,” added Gracia, who was awarded a new four-and-a-half-year deal in December.

“I don’t try to do something I don’t believe or to say something I don’t believe in.

“I try to work the same way I live. I don’t change my personality, and the players realise this and feel comfortable with this.

“When I have to shout, I do it and they know that, but I don’t do anything different with the players than I do with the workers in the canteen.

“I speak to them the same way, as I am the coach and they help us. No one is more important than another.”

Andre Gray could return from injury to feature against his former club, while Christian Kabasele, who collided with a post in the defeat against Chelsea, is also back in contention.

Midfielder Will Hughes however, is set to miss out with the concussion he sustained in last weekend’s victory at Crystal Palace.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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