Rafa clearly loves Newcastle - and he stuck with the club when they went down to the Championship - but it only a matter of time before he reaches his breaking point.
For the second successive round in this year's competition Gracia made 11 changes, but he still saw the Hornets ease their way to a 2-0 victory over Newcastle at St James' Park and a place in the last 16.
However, the club could have even more pressing concerns, at least if Rafael Benitez's latest comments are to be believed.
Benitez is out of contract at the end of the season and with the Magpies showing little sign of providing him with assurances he craves over the club's future direction, the prospect of him signing a contract extension appears minimal.
They do so with the clouds hanging over Tyneside darkening by the day with Benitez's exasperation at the club's flawed transfer policy threatening to hamper another survival mission.
"We have to be better and we will try to be better". You can not do that because it's really bad for the confidence of your players. We just want to see another game so we can do our best and win the next game.
"The way we play against these [top six] teams is that we score goals against all of them". Things have improved in the dressing room now and we are happy.
"It's a question of balance, and people need to understand that balance means attack and defence and I think that we are well organised". Longstaff controlled the midfield really well for Newcastle in a pretty dire encounter, and once again proved that he has what it takes to compete at Premier League level.
"It was a fantastic win for the team against Cardiff and we played very well".