Javi Gracia full transcript: Every word on Saints draw, the penalty appeal and

What are your thoughts on the Chalobah penalty appeal which would have seen Ryan Bertrand sent off?

“To be honest I didn’t see from my position. It’s impossible to know what happened but after asking Chalobah he told me it was clear and then maybe would have changed the game from that moment. I prefer to support the referee’s decisions and I think it’s difficult doing their job and (we must) accept their decisions.”

What did you make of the performance overall?

“It was a difficult game for us. We started well, we created some chances, we missed them and after that Southampton was playing better. They created good chances and scored one goal and after that we were improving. In the second half we showed character and ambition to try to score and to get a better result and we scored the goal. Maybe in the last minutes we had the chance to score but knowing during all the game that their were different moments where Southampton played well and created chances as well. I know it wasn’t the best game but we’re keeping a good level in all of the games – competing well, creating today, I think again, more chances than the opposition; more shots on target, more shots, more possession – it’s not enough but it’s something that’s good for us in all the game that we’re competing well in different circumstances. I can say that I’m proud of my players.”

Mark Hughes is angry with Southampton’s disallowed goal, do you agree?

“If I didn’t see the penalty… (laughs)”

How hard is it for Watford to compete with Newcastle or Southampton when they’re facing must-win games?

“I think both are amazing places and stadiums to play. It’s not important in my opinion. We are ready to play in all of the stadiums and with all of the different teams and when the last game finished I thought we needed to improve and be more efficient because this way we’ll have more options to win in these two games; playing away, creating the chances that we have created. We have to improve. Instead of speaking about the referees I prefer to be demanding with ourselves and try to – in the international break – try to improve all these things because this way is the best mentality to grow up.”

How well is Jose Holebas playing under you?

“Very well. A moment when he didn’t play but I know Jose is important for us, but all the players are. When Jose didn’t play, Adam Masina showed a very high level as well and this is the strength of the squad and the club. Now we can trust all of them because when they have the chance to play – like Chalobah today – all of them show a good level and thinking in the collective target before the individual target. For these reasons I’m very proud of them and knowing all of them deserve more minutes to play, but I can’t do it.”

How did you get on without Etienne Capoue?

“For me, Capoue is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League. I don’t have any doubt of that. But if you ask me about all of the midfielders that we have we can speak about Doucoure, we can speak about Chalobah, we can speak about Tom Cleverley – he’s injured but he’s recovering. We can speak about young players such as Ben Wilmot and Domingos Quina. I think we have different options and all of them are good for the team. Today I think the team competed well without Capoue and we were able to get a point.”

How did Chalobah get on?

“It’s normal that he didn’t play his best level because he needs more time to play but playing with Doucoure, both have played well and I’m pleased for them because, in this case, Chalobah deserves his chance to play.”

Isaac Success showed his versatility today, how valuable is he?

“We tried to play more in the middle than the left but sometimes they decide. We tried to look for different options to attack and score and at the end we finished playing with Gerard (Deulofeu) and Isaac (Success) as wingers, and with Troy (Deeney) and Andre (Gray) as strikers. We tried to look for a better result and we got it.”

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