A content Javi Gracia praised the “outstanding” work put in by his Watford side during pre-season after the Hornets drew 1-1 with Sampdoria in their final friendly of the summer.

Omar Colley gave the visitors the lead in the Graham Taylor Matchday game before Troy Deeney levelled things up in the second half.

For Gracia the performance of his players was more important than the result and he believes his squad are in good shape heading into the season opener against Brighton next Saturday.

“I think all the pre-season has been good for us. All the games have been good and our target in this moment is not the result it is to try to accumulate minutes and to look for our style of play,” Gracia said.

“I think playing against Sampdoria has been a very good test for us. They have a high level and it is very demanding for us.

“I am sure all the players have done outstanding work this pre-season and this week we will recover.”

Gracia opted to make only one change, prompting many to suggest the starting XI would be the same when Watford entertain the Seagulls.

He says he will definitely make changes for the Premier League opener and will, as always, assess where his squad stands closer to the game taking place.

He said: “As you can see there will be many of the players who have played the game in the next game against Brighton but I will not tell you it will be the same 11.

“We will have to decide this week, because there are some players who will come back [from injury] and then we can say who will play against Brighton.

“We have played a certain way against a team today and against Brighton we will have to play a different way because it is a different side.”