It wasn’t so long ago that The Hornets went over a month without winning a single game.
Leading up to the busy Christmas period, Watford went from November 3 to December 15 without a win and lost four of six games.
That rough phase, in which they lost to Newcastle and Leicester, as well as powerhouses Man City and Liverpool, is now far out of mind as Gracia’s men have been beaten just twice in 14 games in all competitions.
The consistent run of form has seen Watford beat fellow mid-table teams West Ham and Everton, as well as Cardiff and Crystal Palace in the league.
Their only losses in those fixtures came at the hands of fellow Londoners Chelsea and Tottenham – frustrating, perhaps, but understandable.
They’ve also got an impressive FA Cup run underway, conceding no goals in any of the three rounds they’ve been in so far and scoring five to stroll into the quarter-finals.
It’s easy to forget that this time last season, Watford were just five points clear of the relegation zone and were struggling to string together consistent results. They’d also crashed out of the FA Cup in the fourth round, courtesy of Southampton.
A year on, they sit comfortably in eighth place with 37 points, just as close to fifth placed Arsenal (50 pts) as they are to Southampton in 18th (24 pts).
It’s a far cry from last season, and the stability that Gracia has brought to the club since his appointment in January last year cannot be ignored.
The Watford boss became the first manager in nine to sign a contract extension for the club in November last year, meaning the club can finally look at implementing a long-term plan beyond this season.
This season is far from over though; The Hornets still have to face the likes of Liverpool, Man City, Arsenal and Chelsea away from home – but there’s no doubting that the foundations are laid for Watford to have their best Premier League season in recent years, and the future looks brighter than ever.
Picture courtesy of Watford FC