Watford sack Sánchez Flores
Photo by Getty Images/Marc Atkins

Just 85 days after being instated at the helm, Quique Sánchez Flores has been relieved of his duties as head coach at Watford.

The decision was made final in a training ground meeting the morning after Saturday's disappointing defeat at Southampton, a result which meant Sánchez Flores had won just one game in ten since his appointment in September and which further isolated the Hornets at the foot of the Premier League table.

Watford led the game up until the 78th minute thanks to a first half goal from record signing Ismaïla Sarr, but capitulated in the closing stages as Danny Ings and James Ward-Prowse consigned them to an eight defeat of the season already.

Hands tied

Given their situation, relegation is a real threat. With just eight points in 14 games, the fact that only two teams have survived from this position since 1995 will cause concern, and the club's owners are now scrambling for a way to avoid it.

The belief in the Spaniard's ability to steer Watford to safety has waned in recent weeks. He was brought in to steady a sinking ship headed by Javi Gracia with four games of the campaign elapsed but, nearly three months later, the team's predicament looks no better than before.

With the benefit of hindsight, many have speculated as to whether the original decision to part ways with Gracia was the right one — he had, after all, enjoyed relative domestic success last season, but was given little time to prove his worth again in 2019/20.

But the choice was made, and the only dilemma currently on the minds of the Pozzo family is one of the future, as they begin the search for their third head coach in as many months.

According to the Athletic, a set of criteria will guide their recruitment of the new man, namely that they must currently be out of work and, unlike Sánchez Flores, have not already managed the club in the past. Continental Europe is believed to be the primary hunting ground in the process.

Brewing discontent

Supporters had generally been sceptical of Sánchez Flores's suitability for the job since his arrival, and the Spaniard had few fans remaining among the travelling contingent in Southampton on Saturday — chants of "sacked in the morning" could be heard as Watford stumbled into a losing position.

Furthermore, the Athletic report that a number of players had become disillusioned with the 54-year old, questioning both his ability to keep the Hornets in the top flight and several of his tactical decisions in recent weeks.

As the owners scour the globe for a new head coach, they will endeavour to secure one that both the supporters and squad can get behind.

They plan to have a new face in the dugout for the trip to Leicester City on Wednesday, meaning the announcement of the next man could be imminent.

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