Javi Gracia praised Andre Gray after he secured the 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace that sent Watford into the FA Cup semi-finals. The striker had been on the Vicarage Road pitch for only three minutes when his classy, first-time finish from Roberto Pereyra’s cross restored the lead Etienne Capoue had earlier given them and that Michy Batshuayi had cancelled out.
Watford will therefore contest a semi-final at Wembley three years after Palace eliminated them at the same stage and the same venue, and via the same 2-1 scoreline with which they have now beaten their visitors three times this season.
For the second time in three matches the 27-year-old Gray had come off the bench to score their winning goal, and Gracia said: “We put Andre on the pitch, he always has a good chance to score and scores important goals for the team, he deserves it and I am happy for him.
“It is amazing for all of us, for the players, staff and supporters. “It is an important day to have the chance to enjoy a semi-final, we are keeping the same level, competing well and that is our target in this moment. “It’s our strength, our solidarity, our behaviour as a team (that is important).
I spoke with them before about playing as a team, always playing as a team and that we are stronger than them if we play as a team. “We can achieve important things for the club (if we play like that). If we don’t, then you don’t have any chance. We are all very proud of our players.”