Javi Gracia breaks silence on uncertain Leeds Utd contract style after confirming backroom staff
Javi Gracia has spoken at his first press conference as the head coach of Leeds United after his visa was approved on Friday, revealing what he really thinks about the somewhat vague contract he has committed to.
Leeds recently appointed Gracia as their new head coach after sacking Jesse Marsch earlier this month. However, they were waiting for the former Watford boss to have his visa approved before he could properly take charge.
On Friday morning, Leeds confirmed Gracia’s visa has been approved. They also revealed who will be working in his coaching staff: assistant coaches Zigor Aranalde and Mikel Antia, and fitness coach Juan Jose Solla.
As expected, recent caretaker manager Michael Skubala will remain among Gracia’s staff, while Paco Gallardo will take his place as the manager of their under-21 team.
Gracia has gone on to conduct his first press conference with Leeds, where he has signed a flexible contract. In theory, he should only be in charge until the end of the season, but his spell could extend into next term if he keeps the club up.
However long his tenure at Elland Road lasts, Gracia will be aiming to ensure Leeds avoid relegation to the Championship. They are currently next to bottom after 23 matches.
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For Gracia, the flexible contract he has committed to is not a problem. Indeed, he wants to help Leeds achieve their ambitions, rather than just being kept on for the sake of it.
“You know our situation (as a head coach),” he said. “You can stay one game or stay your life.
“When I accepted the challenge it was because I want to stay here and achieve the objective. I don’t want to be here to stay because I have a contract.
“I don’t want the club to have a coach they don’t want. It’s my goal to finish the season with the objective.”
Leeds opportunity what Javi Gracia was waiting for
Leeds have given Gracia his second job in the Premier League after a previous spell in charge of Watford.
During his time with the Hornets, he secured Premier League safety and reached an FA Cup final. Since then, he has been in charge of Valencia and Al Sadd.
Now, Gracia is ready for his next challenge in English football, which he feels is what he has been waiting for since leaving Al Sadd in June.
“When I finished at Watford, I didn’t know if I’d have another experience in the Premier League,” Gracia admitted. “I had the chance in Spain with Valencia, then to Qatar with different experiences of life and working.
“When this experience appeared I didn’t have any doubt. It was what I was waiting for. I was waiting for something in the Premier League and it’s something I’m excited for.”
Gracia was speaking in view of his first match in charge of Leeds, which will be a crucial one. On Saturday afternoon, they are due to host Southampton, who are the only team below them in the table as things stand.
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