Two weeks is a long time in football and Javi Gracia hopes the next fortnight can have a transformative impact on his Watford squad.

The Hornets’ FA Cup exit to Southampton last month means they have a break from action this weekend and don’t return until the visit of Everton on February 24.

With Watford’s injury crisis well documented – they currently have 17 fit first team players – the break in play, Gracia claims, can have a restorative effect.

“I think it is very important because we have time to recover players, to work and to rest because I think we need all these things,” Gracia said.

“The players need to rest and to work a lot on the days we train. We need to do very, very good work and to take advantage to recover players.”

Watford’s players have been given today off, but Gracia says their schedule will remain largely unchanged as he also uses the time to further embed his style of play.

The Spaniard is hopeful of doing so with a squad bolstered by some returning players as Heurelho Gomes, Will Hughes and Miguel Britos return to first team training.

Revitalising his squad carries greater significance given the sides Watford face in the immediate aftermath of the break.

The clash with Everton, who sit four points ahead of Watford in ninth, is followed by the visit of bottom of the table West Bromwich Albion.

Both games have been given greater significance due to Watford’s disappointing 2-0 defeat to West Ham United last time out – a result which left them four points above the bottom three.