Hornets handed Jose Holebas boost

Jose Holebas Watford

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Watford have been handed a major boost ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final against Manchester City as Jose Holebas has had his red card against West Ham United rescinded.

The 34-year-old former Greece international was sent off during the 4-1 home defeat to the Hammers on Sunday for denying a goalscoring opportunity.

However, the Football Association’s independent regulatory commission has upheld Watford’s claim of wrongful dismissal. Meanwhile, head coach Javi Gracia says he will eventually return to Spain although he is happy to remain at Vicarage Road for the time being.

The 49-year-old former Malaga, Osasuna and Rubin Kazan coach has been in charge of the Hornets since January 2018 and guided the club to this weekend’s FA Cup final – they are 7.00 to lift the trophy – as well as to an 11th-placed finish in the Premier League. Gracia said:

“I’ll go back to Spain, that’s 100 per cent, but I do not know when, because I have a long contract here. “The list of coaches at Watford in recent years is extensive and it is not usual for a coach to start a second season. It had not happened for many years.

It is not usual to renew the contract as I did for four more years. That generates a little more confidence in your work.” Gracia is proud of his achievements at Watford, adding: “When you start you always expect the best, that the year will be good and that we will enjoy it. Saturday will be a moment for the club and the fans to enjoy.”

Watford can be backed at 4.20 to be the first team to score in the FA Cup final.

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