Javi Gracia backs Will Hughes to achieve 'great things'
By Calum Wilson
Last Updated: 05/04/18 8:08pm
Watford boss Javi Gracia says he is not surprised by the impressive performances of Will Hughes, but stopped short of urging England manager Gareth Southgate to take the midfielder to the World Cup.
Hughes has had a hand in five goals (two goals, three assists) in nine Premier League games for Watford this season - as many as he managed in 38 Championship games for Derby County last season.
He put in a man-of-the-match display in Watford's 2-2 draw with Bournemouth last weekend and contributed to much of the Hornets' good attacking play, making the second goal for Roberto Pereyra.
"He didn't surprise me," said Gracia. "I know he is able to play very well and now I trust in the future that he will keep this level and try to improve the level of the team as well.
"I think he can improve, as with all the players, but I am happy with his level.
"He is a different player with high quality and when he plays he makes the team play as well. This is important for us."
When asked if Hughes should be in the running for a place in Southgate's World Cup squad this summer, Gracia added: "I would like that but I am not the coach of the English national team and I respect him [Southgate] a lot.
"I am sure he can do great things but at this moment I prefer to speak about his level in my team at Watford."
The Watford boss also had some positive news regarding on-loan Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu, confirming the Spaniard is likely to feature again before the end of the season.
Deulofeu has been sidelined since suffering a stress fracture in his foot during the win over Everton on February 24.
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