Javi Gracia has released a statment claiming the termination of his Watford contract was both "unexpected" and "a surprise".

The head coach was yesterday relieved of his duties and immediately replaced by Quique Sanchez Flores and he claims that although it was unexpected, he still maintains a good relationship with club and is grateful for the fans' support.

The statement reads: "After the unexpected announcement about the termination of my contract after only 4 matches, I want to express my surprise after completing the best season in Watford's history.

"I respect this decision and I'd like to reassure the excelent (sic) relationship I have with Gino Pozzo and Filippo Giraldi, and this is not going to change despite my abrupt exit of the club. I am grateful to this club for allowing me to manage this great club in the Premier League, it has been an incredible experience, with very special moments like the FA Cup final I had the privilege to enjoy.

"I want to thank every single person who works for this club and has made my everyday very easy. My gratefulness and love for this club will be eternal. And finally, I want to thank the fans for supporting me the way they did from day 1, until my last. I will always wish the fans and these players the best."