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Claudio Ranieri sacked by relegation-threatened Watford after 14 games

The Italian’s reign at the club was typically brief, lasting just three-and-a-half months.

Claudio Ranieri.
Claudio Ranieri.
Image: PA

CLAUDIO RANIERI’S TENURE as Watford manager lasted 14 games: he has been sacked by the club today, in light of Friday’s 3-0 loss at home to Norwich City. 

That result saw Watford slide into the relegation zone, and proved to be Ranieri’s final game in charge. 

Ranieri was appointed three-and-a-half months ago, replacing Xisco Munoz at the trigger-happy club.

The Italian ultimately won just two of his games in charge, albeit both comfortably: a come-from-behind 5-2 win away to Everton, along with a 4-1 hammering of Manchester United at Vicarage Road, after which Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked.

Watford have lost all but one of the games they’ve played since, the exception being a 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers Newcastle United. 

Ranieri leaves Watford second-from-bottom in the table, two points from safety, albeit with two games in hand. Their next game is away to bottom club Burnley on 5 February.

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“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,” the club said in a statement issued this evening.

“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.”

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Gavin Cooney

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