Javi Gracia says he “loves” life in England and is proud to represent Watford as he continues to put the finishing touches on a new contract.

Gracia goes into Saturday’s game with Southampton on the cusp of signing a new three-year deal, making him the first head coach to agree an extension at Vicarage Road since Malky Mackay in 2012.

It is just reward for the work he has done since agreeing an initial 18-month stay in January.

While Gracia remained tight-lipped on whether the new deal would be signed imminently, he says he is enjoying life in England with Watford.

"I love England and feel it is my home and I am at a family club which is something special," he said.

"I prefer to speak about the contract when it happens and it hasn't happened yet. I do not know how long I will be here, but I am proud to be here.

"My family is happy, I am happy and I enjoy my job.

"We are moving forward with the contract and it is positive but it is not finished yet, so we will see in the next weeks."

Gracia has guided Watford to 19 points from 11 games so far this season and the Hornets sit eighth in the table ahead of the trip to St Mary’s.

He insists that he does not need a new contract to motivate him as he continues to strive for improvement at Vicarage Road.

He said: “It (new deal) does not change my point of view and my work every day. I do not need an extension to do my best and I enjoy day by day.

“I know in Watford and every club that if I lose maybe there will be a moment when I have to leave. I prefer to do my best every day and this is my way of life.”