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Watford appoint Roy Hodgson as manager as ex-England boss, 74, swiftly replaces sacked Claudio Ranieri


WATFORD have named Roy Hodgson as their new manager following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri.

The Italian was shown the door just 112 days into his two-year contract following Friday night’s horror 3-0 loss at home to relegation rivals Norwich.

Roy Hodgson has been appointed Watford manager after the sacking of Claudio Ranieri

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Roy Hodgson has been appointed Watford manager after the sacking of Claudio RanieriCredit: PA
Claudio Ranieri was axed after just 112 days in charge following the 3-0 loss at home to Norwich

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Claudio Ranieri was axed after just 112 days in charge following the 3-0 loss at home to NorwichCredit: Reuters

And the Hornets board have appointed experienced Hodgson, 74, to steady the ship with their Premier League status on the line.

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The ex-England boss has a wealth of Premier League experience, with Blackburn, Fulham, West Brom, Liverpool and most-recently Crystal Palace between 2017 and 2021.

Hodgson previously worked for Watford owner Gino Pozzo’s father, Giampaolo, at Udinese in 2001.

But with Pozzo Jr burning through 15 bosses in just ten years, Hodgson – who hinted at retiring after leaving Palace last year – knows he will need results from the get-go.

Hodgson arrives with his trusted assistant Ray Lewington, who managed the Hornets between 2002 and 2005.

Hodgson arrives at Vicarage Road with Watford 19th in the Prem, two points adrift of 17th-placed Norwich – but with two games in hand.

His first game will be against basement boys Burnley on Saturday February 5.

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And the Hornets board have already hinted Hodgson will be expected to turn things around immediately, as their club statement revealed they sacked Ranieri when they did to give the new boss as much time as possible to save them.

It 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.”

Ranieri was given a two-year contract when he replaced Xisco Munoz in October 2021.

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But after just 14 games in charge, the ex-Chelsea chief becomes the seventh permanent manager to be sacked by Watford since the summer of 2017.

Incredibly, Malky Mackay was the last boss to survive two seasons at Watford.

The Scottish former Hornets player left the club in June 2011 – more than a decade ago.

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