Javi Gracia has hailed in-form forward Gerard Deulofeu after his double helped Watford take all three points from the John Smith Stadium against Huddersfield on Saturday afternoon. 

The win sent Watford into the driving seat in the hunt for European football next season, with the Hornets sitting pretty in seventh place and one point above Leicester - with a game in hand on the Foxes to boot.

The Hornets are unbeaten against teams outside the top six in the league since December and have an FA cup final to look forward to thanks to another brace from Deulofe in their semi-final against Wolves.

With Troy Deeney serving the first of a three-match ban after a red card against Arsenal, it was up to the 25-year-old to step up and provide the goals against the Terriers, a feat Gracia feels the Spaniard is doing more regularly of late. 

Speaking to the ​BBC after ​Saturday's clash, the ​Watford boss said: "I think he's showing his quality. Now in this moment he's scoring more goals for us, but always shows what he is able to do.

"Today with two goals, two important goals for us. We miss in this moment other strikers, Troy, Roberto Pereyra and it's important for the team [that] Gerard scores goals for us.

"I think in the last games he's making the difference for us. Scoring important goals in the FA cup, scoring important goals to win. 

"Always, I expect more from my players, it's my job. [I] try to be demanding with them and try to help them to improve their qualities."

On the race for seventh place, Gracia is thinking short term with the visit of ​Southampton to prepare for on Tuesday night, as the Spaniard looks to take each game as it comes. 

He went on to say: "I prefer in this moment to start thinking [about] the next game. We play in three days and we have to be recovered and ready to play against a very good team in Southampton, and it's our target at this moment.

"We'll see at the end of the season where we are and try to enjoy, try to do always our best and it's the best mentality."