The Watford head coach acknowledged his side had not been at their best, but he praised the way they came through another test to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 1-0 win at Queens Park Rangers.

Etienne Capoue’s goal in first-half stoppage-time proved to be enough for the Hornets to reach the last eight, but only after Toni Leistner had come closest to equalising in the closing stages when he slid a golden chance wide of the far post.

Javi Gracia said: “It was a very close game. QPR had their chances to score – the most clear at the end of the game – and we scored one goal at the end of the first half and it was enough to win the game.

“Maybe it wasn’t our best game today but we knew before it would be very demanding and we needed to defend well, the second balls, defend well the set pieces because this team’s (QPR’s) results in the Championship weren’t very good, but always competing very well, always scoring a lot of goals.”

The Hornets are now within two games of the final but while some fans may go to bed tonight dreaming of that possibility, Gracia is remaining firmly focused on the here and now.

He said: “To speak about what we can do in the future maybe is a little lack of respect for the teams we are going to play against. Today we felt that playing against QPR we’ve suffered a lot and the game we play in the future will be very demanding, I’m sure of that, playing against a Premier League team or a Championship team as well.”

“The thing we have to do is to keep working the way we are doing and to be focused on the next game.

“In this case we are going to play next Friday against Cardiff and we now focus on the Premier League. When we have to play in the FA Cup we will prepare for that game as best as possible.

“I don’t like to speak a lot about the past, I don’t like to speak about the future, I think football is present and the best way to have a good present is to be focused on that.”

Watford have yet to play at home tie in either cup competition this season, but Gracia is hoping the draw is kind to his side in that respect when it is made.

He said: “We are playing a lot of games away. I’m very grateful to QPR for their warm welcome today but I want to play one cup game at home. I want to enjoy with my supporters, playing at Vicarage Road if it’s possible, but if we have to play away we’ll do it.