Javi Gracia is excited about the upcoming season, after learning the club’s fixture list on Thursday morning.

The Watford head coach guided the Hornets to their highest ever Premier League points, goals and wins tallies last season and now he can start planning after he was able to look at the schedule that will stand between him and doing it all again next season.

The Spaniard has had some time off after a hectic season finished with defeat in the FA Cup final and the boss said he is now hoping for another positive start, after he saw his side win their first five games in all competitions last season.

“We are excited,” Gracia told the club website.

“I’m looking forward to the first game. It will be the same as last season against Brighton and we will try to prepare for that game during the whole of pre-season, trying to start the same way we did last season.

“We knew already we would have to play against all the teams but now when I see the schedule my first impression is good. I’m happy and I’m looking forward to the games.”

The Hornets have a pre-season game against Queens Park Rangers already pencilled in, while reports online suggest they will return to Austria again for more preparation.

However, Gracia wants to use the off-season to prepare for game number one against Brighton and is pleased that he will welcome in the new campaign with a game at home.

“I think it’s the best news for me,” he said.

“To start by playing at home. Playing at Vicarage Road with our supporters is the best news for us.

“We still have time to rest a little bit and to prepare more things but when you finish one season, from the next day you start to think about the next season.”

Despite having time away from the game, Gracia said he has still been thinking about football throughout the summer.

With the Women’s World Cup currently ongoing and both the Copa America and the African Cup of Nations also still to come, there has been plenty to keep football fans occupied and the head coach insists he was no different, but said he has mostly been keen to learn more about the Hornets’ upcoming season.

“It’s our lives, our passion. You are already speaking about players, taking an interest in other competitions and thinking about the international players you have playing in different games.

“This morning I was waiting for the moment when we could see all the fixtures and you are always thinking about the games, about your rivals, about the team, and trying to find a way to prepare as well as possible during pre-season for all the games we are going to play.”

Meanwhile, the English summer has been living up to its expectations with torrential rain pouring down across the United Kingdom over the past week.

However, Gracia insists that he has had his fill of good weather for the year and now that he is back in Hertfordshire, he is thinking about nothing more than preparing for Brighton on August 10.

“I’ve been in Spain with the sun so now I’m not so worried about the weather,” he said.

“There will be good days and not so good days – just like in other countries, even Spain. “But when we start to work, in that moment we only are focused on our job.”