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Javi Gracia hyperfocused on Leeds’ survival

Javi Gracia is fully focused on his job at Leeds and the Spaniard has not taken the time to explore the city he resides in

Leeds have had a decent start under Javi Gracia’s management, winning three out of their last six games and earning a total of 10 points.

Leeds United’s recent good form under Javi Gracia has seen them climb to 13th position in the Premier League table. They have 10 points in their last six games, including three wins.

A victory against Crystal Palace on Sunday would see Gracia’s side move up to 12th position. Possibly creating a gap between themselves and the teams in the relegation zone.

Javi Gracia has remained undefeated in his first three top-flight home games at Elland Road, making him the first Leeds manager to achieve this feat in 43 years. The atmosphere and energy generated by the fans during home games also adds to the team’s strength.

“It’s inside of me,” Gracia insists. “You can’t see it, but for sure, I feel the atmosphere and the supporters.

“I know these things are important for us. But my job is to try to be focused, to help the players and give them the solutions.

“I would enjoy it more being in the stands than on the bench! But in this case, I’m the manager and I have to be focused on my job.

“It’s good to feel the atmosphere, but you have to know what your responsibility is and be focused on that.”

Javi Gracia thrives on Elland Road’s atmosphere

Javi Gracia is solely focused on the upcoming match against Crystal Palace. He refuses to look beyond it in terms of the context of the season. He does not entertain the idea that winning this game could be more significant in terms of securing survival compared to just gaining three more points.

When Gracia took over as the manager of Leeds, the team was in the second-bottom position in the Premier League. They had not won any games in their previous 10 matches. However, under his leadership, they have become one of the leading contenders to avoid relegation.

“When I arrived, I knew that it was a difficult moment,” he recalls. “Some players were injured, the team had a long time without winning.

“My first feeling was the players really wanted to change that dynamic. They were working hard, the attitude was always good. I needed in that moment to feel that the players wanted it, after that it was my job to find the best way to compete and be closer to winning games.”

If Gracia manages to secure the necessary points for Leeds to remain in the Premier League, there is a possibility that he could be given the opportunity to return to the club next season. Despite being an interim manager, Gracia has a unique status at Leeds due to signing a “flexible contract” six weeks ago, which sets him apart from the traditional interim or caretaker roles.

“I’m being honest – it’s something I am not thinking about,” he insists when asked if he wants to be there next season. “My job is trying to help the people here to remain in the Premier League.

“In May and June we will see what happens, the situation and what is my future.”

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.


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