Watford boss Gracia praises QPR after cup tie

PUBLISHED: 10:00 18 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:08 18 February 2019

Watford manager Javi Gracia (pic: John Walton/PA)

Watford manager Javi Gracia (pic: John Walton/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Rs gave a good account of themselves in defeat to Premier League Hornets

Watford boss Javi Gracia admits Queens Park Rangers thoroughly tested his side in their 1-0 win in the Emirates FA Cup fifth round.

The Rs fell short in their efforts to reach a first quarter-final since 1995 with Etienne Capoue’s goal shortly before half time winning the match for the Hornets.

Despite the west Londoners playing a tier below Watford, QPR still looked dangerous at times with both Matt Smith and Nahki Wells among those to have good chances.

Though it was not the result they were hoping for, the Loftus Road club could nonetheless be content with their display.

And Watford manager Gracia paid tribute to Steve McClaren’s men following the cup tie.

Gracia told the Watford website: “It was a very close game. QPR had big chances to score, maybe at the end of the game, but we scored one goal and it was enough to win the game.

“Maybe it wasn’t our best game today, but we knew before it would be a very demanding game to defend well with long balls, second balls, set pieces.

“QPR’s results in the Championship weren’t very good, but they are always competing very well, scoring a lot of goals.”

Part of the reason why QPR were unable to net against Watford was the performance from Hornets stopper Heurelho Gomes.

The Brazilian, who celebrated his 38th birthday on Friday, denied Wells and showed great bravery to keep several crosses from reaching Smith.

And Gracia was also full of praise for the experienced custodian, adding: “Not only today, Heurelho is very important when he plays and when he doesn’t play,” he added.

“His experience, his attitude is very important for the team. The victory is a good gift for him.”

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