The revival of Etienne Capoue in the heart of Watford’s midfield has been one of many encouraging signs of Javi Gracia’s fledgling Watford tenure.

Under Marco Silva the Frenchman was often the first man to be withdrawn and you sensed his selection relied on injury to others rather than Silva’s own liking.

Gracia, while still having to contend with a number of midfield absentees, has placed renewed trust on the talented 29-year-old.

He has completed back-to-back 90 minutes for the first time this season under Watford’s new head coach and looks revitalised in a deeper role.

It is little surprise then that Capoue reflects on Silva’s 26-game spell with little fondness and is now relishing life under Gracia.

“I enjoy it (playing regularly) so much and it was a difficult time for me under Marco Silva,” Capoue said.

“I didn’t play a lot, but now the new manager has given me a chance and I am trying to take it.

“Gracia has told us we start from zero but we need to win as soon as possible to bring a good vibe. He is trying to bring the best out of everyone."

Harrow Times:

Capoue admits to finding life under Marco Silva difficult as he was in and out of the Watford team.

Capoue stopped short of suggesting Gracia had brought a warmness and togetherness which Watford lacked under Silva.

He did, however, touch on the departed Portuguese bosses tendency to play him as a number 10 - a position he believes is not his best.

“I don’t know why he played me there,” he said of Silva. “I play eight years as a professional in this deeper role, so I enjoy it.

“It was my position for Tottenham and Toulouse, so I am enjoying it a lot.

“If I do not attack it is ok and it is good to defend as well. It is cool.”

Harrow Times:

The French midfielder says the deeper role he played at Spurs suits him better than number 10.

A footballer’s style on the pitch is often mirrored by their character off it and the relaxed Capoue is no exception to the rule.

His languid approach to the game has made him an easy target for criticism at times, even if some of his displays in the first half of the season deserved to be lambasted.

Being in and out of the team could easily weigh heavily on a player, but Capoue says family life away from the pitch keep matchday struggles in perspective.

“Life is good and I am the type of guy, even if I am not playing, I am happy,” he said.

“I go home, see my kids and they do not know if I have played or not and this is priceless to me. I don’t want to go home and be angry towards them.

“My life is good and if I work hard things (being left out) will change.”

Capoue will hope to continue in midfield when the Hornets travel to London Stadium to face fellow relegation candidates West Ham United tomorrow.

Watford head to the capital on the back of taking four points from two Premier League games under Gracia, most recently recording a famous 4-1 win over Chelsea on Monday.

For Capoue, defeating the champions in such a manner, while breathing new confidence into Watford, will lose some of its value should the Hammers not be beaten.

“The Chelsea game gives us a big confidence boost because it was at home and against a big team, so we are very, very confident,” he explained.

“But the game is finished and it will be another tough match against West Ham.

“We need to make sure we are focused because West Ham want to remain in the Premier League as well.”