Javi Gracia says Troy Deeney elbow against Arsenal not a red card
Deeney shown straight red for elbowing Lucas Torreira in the 11th minute
Last Updated: 16/04/19 6:26am
Javi Gracia insists Troy Deeney's elbow did not merit a red card against Arsenal in Watford's 1-0 defeat at Vicarage Road.
Deeney was shown a straight red one minute by referee Craig Pawson after Arsenal took the lead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who converted by blocking a Ben Foster clearance. The narrow defeat means Watford are a point off seventh place in 10th.
Gracia feels Deeney's challenge did not deserve a straight dismissal which means the club captain will miss games against Huddersfield, Southampton and Wolves.
"I respect the referee's decision, but I don't agree [about Deeney's red card]," he told Sky Sports.
"In my opinion it is a yellow card but never a red. I can't explain what the referee saw to make that decision.
"It was an important one. I prefer to speak about my players who today deserve the recognition. We don't get points but we had a good performance and we keep playing with the same ambition and desire."
Foster also spoke to Sky Sports' Patrick Davison post-match and he apologised for his blunder.
He said: "I'm just gutted and I've said sorry to the lads and I'm sorry to the fans. I should have Cruyff-turned him to be honest but it's not really my style.
"Daryl has played it back to me I've tried to drag it onto my left and then hit it out wide. But before I know it he was on me.
"He's fast - he's absolutely rapid. I was talking to (Bernd) Leno walking off and he said 'it's not your fault, he's too quick'."