New Leeds United manager Javi Gracia has spoken positively about his new club, claiming that he “didn’t have any doubts” about joining the Whites despite their precarious league position.
Leeds currently sit 19th, one point ahead of Southampton, who they face in a season-defining fixture at Elland Road on Saturday.
As such they find themselves deep in a relegation battle for the second season running. This is not a prospect which appears to intimidate new head coach Gracia, however.
“I was waiting for something in the Premier League and it’s something I’m excited for,” Gracia said in his first ever press conference for the West Yorkshire club (as per BBC Sport).
“When I finished at Watford, I didn’t know if I’d have another experience in the Premier League. I had the chance in Spain then to Qatar with different experiences of life and working.
“[This type of job] was what I was waiting for. When this experience appeared I didn’t have any doubt.”
Up until early this afternoon Gracia had faced difficulties getting an overseas work permit, making it uncertain whether he would be in the Whites dugout on Saturday. In what could prove to be a massive boost for Leeds, it was confirmed his visa had been approved just before his press conference was due to take place.
This means that Gracia will be able to sample the famous Elland Road atmosphere on Saturday for himself, something which appears to excite the 52-year-old.
“I know the atmosphere is really good,” Gracia said.
“Of course I’m looking forward to the game. I expect our supporters will be player number 12 for us. We need them.
“From the beginning to the end, we need to give our best. We have to give extra effort. Tomorrow is the day.”
A victory is crucial tomorrow for the Whites, who are without a Premier League win since 5 November.