Watford manager Javi Gracia admits Manchester United were better in first half


A defeat for United would have seen them suffer three losses in their opening five Premier League games for the first time, but they picked up where they left off against Burnley prior to the worldwide break, professionally dealing with an in-form Watford side.

Man United fans will desperate to see their team pick up their third win of the 2018-19 campaign against Watford, but if they fail it could spell curtains for the 55-year-old boss now in charge of the squad.

Whether he meant to or not, former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand gave a telling insight into just how far expectations have fallen at Old Trafford during BT Sport's coverage of Saturday's game.

United remain six points behind joint-leaders Chelsea and Liverpool - now the only teams boasting a 100 per-cent record as a result of United's win - but the feel-good factor inside Mourinho's camp is certainly much improved after an excellent win on Saturday.

Mourinho has been accused of not giving the United academy product enough chances to showcase his talent since taking over the Red Devils in 2016.

Rashford will definitely be missing when Mourinho's men travel to Watford for their match on Sunday morning (Singapore time), though, as he begins a three-match ban.

"For the Manchester United supporters, I think it's important that they have the right idea of how things are in reality".

Having faced United this season, Gracia's opinion of them has remained unchanged, adding: "I think the same as I did before the game".

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Está un paso por delante de todos los jugadores. "Otra cosa es si hablamos de títulos o de lo que han ganado", confesó. Espero que mañana veamos una versión mejorada de España y podamos minimizar la calidad de Croacia ", indicó.

"Since I've been here, Marcus Rashford has been selected for every single match - he was never, not even for one day, out of selection because of my decision or because he was injured or, like in this case, because he is suspended".

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If he can just start doing it on a regular basis, United would have one of the best in the world - although we've been saying that for a while now.

"Deserve [a draw] or not deserve, I don't know".

Mourinho also said Luke Shaw is free to face Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday after recovering from a head injury but is set to wait before deciding whether the defender will play.

Marouane Fellaini is a doubt for the Watford game, with Mourinho also suggesting Ander Herrera may be ruled out because of an ankle problem.

Rashford is still raw - his final ball can be poor and his finishing sometimes lets him down - and he makes mistakes, but he is clearly a player for the big occasion.

"I hope they will stay", Mourinho said when asked about that quartet. "Contrary to some news, to some opinions by the protocol point of view and according to our doctor, he will be free to play".