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Javi Gracia: Winning FA Cup with Watford would be special

Javi Gracia insists guiding Watford to the FA Cup final will rank as the greatest achievement of his managerial career to date.

The Hornets face Wolves on Sunday looking to reach just the second FA Cup showpiece in the club’s history and the first since 1984.

Gracia, who took charge at Vicarage Road in January 2018, rarely talks about his own success but feels another trip to Wembley on May 18 would be special.

“I have never coached in a final,” the 48-year-old said.

“I have reached semi-finals in Russia (as Rubin Kazan boss) but a final I never played and it would be the best achievement in my career for sure.

“It is something special this season because we worked really hard in pre-season and in all competitions and now we have the opportunity to enjoy with the supporters at Wembley one special game.

“It is very good for all the squad. We have 26 players who have all done well in different moments. It is a good reward for all of them, not just the 11 players who play the next game.

“It is something different for our supporters and I am happy they have the chance to enjoy going to Wembley.”

Gracia has already secured the highest Premier League points total for a Watford side as they battle it out with the likes of Leicester, Everton, West Ham and their semi-final opponents Wolves to finish seventh.

The Spaniard believes an additional benefit of reaching the FA Cup final would provide a boost in performance between now and the end of the campaign – with Europa League qualification still a possibility through both cup and league position.

Asked if a win over Wolves would help in their pursuit of finishing seventh in the Premier League, Gracia added: “I am sure of that.

“If we are able to achieve the final I’m sure for the next six games, playing four of them at home, we will be able to achieve more points.

“We will see how everything finishes but at the moment we have to keep our ambition.

“This is the moment where we have to make a step forward and keep all the good things we have achieved before – 46 points is the best we have had in the Premier League.”