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Watford replace Rob Edwards with Slaven Bilic

Watford replace Rob Edwards with Slaven Bilic

Watford have confirmed that they have sacked head coach Rob Edwards after just 11 games in charge, replacing him with Slaven Bilic.

The 39-year-old only arrived at Vicarage Road in May after guiding Forest Green Rovers to promotion to League One.

Edwards and his new squad made a strong start to the campaign, collecting seven points from Championship fixtures against Sheffield United, West Bromwich Albion and Burnley.

However, Watford have prevailed in just one of their last eight fixtures in all competitions, that success being earned in the final minute against Middlesbrough.

Despite the club still sitting in 10th position and just one point adrift of the playoff places, the club’s owners have taken the decision to remove Edwards from his role in the dugout.

© Reuters

A club statement read: “Watford FC has relieved Rob Edwards of his duties as head coach.

“The Board of Watford Football Club wishes to place on record its thanks to Rob for all of his work since his appointment and wish him and his assistant Richie Kyle – who will also leave the club – all the very best for their future careers in coaching and management.

“The Hornets will confirm its newly-appointed head coach in due course.”

Edwards becomes the latest name to be provided with minimal time at the club, with Watford’s last seven permanent managers lasting no longer than 36 matches in all competitions.

West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic pictured in November 2020© Reuters

Within 15 minutes of the announcement, Watford confirmed that they had appointed Bilic as Edwards’s replacement.

The Croatian is no stranger to English football after spending spells with West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion since 2015, taking charge of 176 matches in total.

The 54-year-old earned promotion from the Championship with the latter in 2019-20 before being sacked six months later.

Bilic’s most recent role came in China with Beijing Guoan, recording nine wins and 12 defeats from his 29 matches before his exit at the start of 2022.

Watford are next in action when they square off against Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium on October 2.

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