Watford sack manager Valérien Ismaël following home defeat by Coventry | Watford

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Watford have named Tom Cleverley as interim manager after sacking Valérien Ismaël following a run of only one win in 10 league games.

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Ismaël was appointed in May 2023 after Chris Wilder’s exit, becoming the 19th full-time managerial appointment made by the Pozzo family in 11 years. Recent results had put pressure on him, though, with the decision made in the wake of Saturday’s home defeat to Coventry.

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Cleverley, the former Manchester United and England midfielder, has stepped up from coaching the club’s under-18s. Watford say his staff will be confirmed “in due course”.

Tom Cleverley will assume the position of Interim Head Coach at Vicarage Road.

This follows Watford FC terminating the contract of Valérien Ismaël after today’s home defeat to Coventry City.

— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) March 9, 2024

Speaking after Saturday’s defeat, Ismaël expressed his frustration at another home defeat. His side’s last league victory was at Vicarage Road on 28 November.

Ismael said: “We took the decision to have a mobile midfield again and had a great start with lots of chances. We should have scored a second goal, but then from nowhere they got the penalty. In the second half we continued to push, but they scored from their only shot on target, so it’s a real pity today.

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“But we saw good energy and good dynamic on the pitch to change the way things are going at the minute. We had some crosses too high, some crosses too low, some crosses blocked, but at least we tried and our game was back. We didn’t see anything from Coventry today. It was just one of those days when things run against you.”





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