Adrian Clarke looks at the impact of new managers in the relegation fight, which is the closest ever at this stage of the season, with only four points separating the bottom nine clubs.
Leeds United needed the arrival of Gracia to have a stabilising effect and four matches into his tenure, with seven points on the board, he is in the process of delivering that.
Gracia's to-do list at Leeds would have included targeting less defensive chaos, adding greater width to the attacking play and producing more control in possession.
While it is early days, those areas have already been addressed.
One of the less successful tactics of Gracia's predecessor Jesse Marsch was the narrowness of the team's shape.
Marsch wanted his side to have numbers down the centre of the pitch to help them create turnovers in areas of maximum danger.
Often his wingers found themselves tucked inside and without deploying natural attacking full-backs, Leeds struggled to stretch their opponents across the width of the pitch.
As a result, they are among the lowest Premier League teams for crosses, producing only 56 accurate deliveries from open play this season.
|Club||Succ. open-play crosses|
Gracia is placing more emphasis on width, using Junior Firpo and Luke Ayling as his full-backs, who are both adventurous by nature.
He has also moved Leeds' best crosser, Jack Harrison, from a No 10 role back to his familiar left-wing position.
Leeds' supply line of open-play crosses has increased from 10.0 per match to 13.3 since Gracia took charge.
|Open-play crosses||Ave. per 90|
|First 23 matches||231||10.0|
|Last four matches||53||13.3|
Prior to Gracia's arrival, Leeds had scored only six goals in a run of nine matches, but have already matched that tally in their last three fixtures.
Patrick Bamford's return to full fitness has helped, as has Rodrigo's availability.
🤩 Battling to the final whistle! pic.twitter.com/qn8yXfUGlA— Leeds United (@LUFC) March 19, 2023
Leeds' match-management across 2022/23 has been a little too erratic.
When they have conceded first their record is poor, with 10 defeats from 13 such occasions and only five points collected.
Their record when going 1-0 up also leaves room for improvement, with only five of 11 leads being converted into victories and three losses in those matches.
Part of the problem under Marsch's leadership was a lack of controlled possession.
Leeds rarely relieved pressure or took the sting out of matches by trying to keep the ball. Often, their encounters were open and end-to-end.
|Fewest build-up attacks||Fewest 10+ pass sequences|
|Nott'm Forest||29||Nott'm Forest||148|
While Gracia is unlikely to turn Leeds into a possession-based side, he will ask his players to be calmer when they have the ball.
In order to ease the defence's workload and to ensure that their talented forwards have the ball more often in advanced areas, they need to add greater control.
There is work to be done defensively, with six goals conceded in the last two matches, but in general Leeds look more organised and sturdier.
In and out of possession, the early signs indicate that Gracia has his team moving in the right direction.
Key wins over Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers, coupled with a draw against in-form Brighton & Hove Albion, have certainly lifted belief within the squad.
Part 2: Positive approach paying off for Lopetegui
Part 3: Dyche's style bringing stability to Everton
Part 4: How Hodgson's return will change Crystal Palace