Watford Have Sacked Claudio Ranieri As Manager Of The Club

Watford have sacked Italian tactician Claudio Ranieri just three-and-a-half months at Vicarage Road.

The 70-year-old manager was brought in as Watford second manager this season, and ninth manager in five years following his two-year appointment in October to replace Xisco as the team's head coach.

Watford's ruthless owner Gino Pozzo had sacked Xisco Munoz, who guided the Hornets back to the top-flight last season, after just seven league games in October, despite sitting 14th in the league standings.

Pozzo was also present at Vicarage Road when relegation threatened Norwich City ran out 3-0 winners over Watford in a humiliating outing on Friday night which marked the end of Ranieri's reign.

The former Chelsea and Leicester City boss was in charge for just 14 games with Watford, and managed to grab just one of the 24 points at stake in the last eight Premier League games.

Watford were four points above the relegation zone when they appointed Ranieri, but they are now just two points from safety, though they do have two games in hand.

They are in 19th place above rock-bottom Burnley, but the Clarets have as many games in hand.

Ranieri celebrated his first Watford win away at Goodison Park where the Hornets dismantled Everton 5-2, with his second victory coming three days later, when his team shockingly defeated Manchester United 4-1 on home soil.

From that point on, Watford grabbed one point - against relegation rivals Newcastle - and they were knocked out in the third round of the FA Cup after losing 4-1 away at Ranieri's former team Leicester City.

On Monday, a club statement read: "Watford Football Club confirms the departure of Head Coach Claudio Ranieri.

"The Hornets' Board recognises Claudio as a man of great integrity and honour, who will always be respected here at Vicarage Road for his efforts in leading the team with dignity.

"However, the Board feels that, with nearly half of the Premier League campaign remaining, a change in the Head Coach position now will give a new appointment sufficient time to work with a talented squad to achieve the immediate goal of retaining Premier League status.

"No further club comment will be made until this new appointment is confirmed in due course."

The club have now commenced the search for the Italian's successor and their third manager of the season, and have reportedly made contact with old Newcastle United boss, Steve Bruce as potential replacement, and former England boss Roy Hodgson who as been out of job since departing Crystal Palace at the end of last season. 

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