Javi Gracia has no excuses after Watford’s opening day league defeat

Watford manager Javi Gracia has said that he has no excuses for the Hornets’ dreadful showing against Brighton & Hove Albion during the opening week of the Premier League campaign. The Hornets suffered a disappointing 3-0 loss to the Seagulls at Vicarage Road in the season opener following goals from Florin Andone, Neal Maupay and Abdoulaye Doucoure, who put through his own net.

Speaking after the game, Gracia said that there are no excuses for the showing and it is a wake-up call for the Hornets. He added that the Seagulls deserved the victory with the performance on the day, he told: "Many things [went wrong], not only one. We need to improve and maybe this is a good wake-up call for the rest of the season. The best news is that it's the first game and we have a lot of time to improve. Today there were no excuses. They played better than us, they deserve the three points and they got the result they deserved."

The Hornets have had an exceptional opening day record over the years and the defeat against Graham Potter’s side was their first since the 2005/06 season, where they were in the Championship. Despite the defeat, there should not be any concerns over the general strength of the team, considering they were able to avoid any major departures while bolstering the squad further.

Prior to the transfer deadline, the Hornets landed the signatures of both Danny Welbeck and Ismaila Sarr, and the involvement of the duo should enhance their prospects of scoring more goals this term. Brighton, on the other hand, have made a positive start under new boss Potter and it was a refreshing sight that they were able to take the game to the Hornets on the road. Brighton were criticised for the defensive showing away from home under former head coach Chris Hughton, but that should change under the guidance of Potter.