Watford not a sinking ship - Tommy Mooney

Malky Mackay
Mackay has won 33 of his 99 games in charge since taking over in June 2009

Former Watford striker Tommy Mooney does not think losing manager Malky Mackay to Cardiff City would be a sign of things to come.

Mooney, a Vicarage Road favourite for seven years, believes chairman Graham Taylor will keep the Hornets on a steady course, even if Mackay departs.

"I don't think it's right to call the club a sinking ship," he told BBC Three Counties Radio.

"Yes there's change, but the common denominator is Graham Taylor."

Mackay was given permission to speak to Cardiff on Thursday about their managerial vacancy left by the sacking of Dave Jones in May.

After a competitive season in the Championship, with limited funds and a young side, the Hornets have already lost top scorer Danny Graham to Swansea and could be about to see their Scottish manager head to Wales too.

"It's certainly not a sinking ship, it's a club that just staved off relegation last season and over-achieved this year to get into the play-off positions and finally finished mid-table," added Mooney.

"I can understand why the fans are concerned by the situation, if Malky goes it's obviously a massive appointment to bring the next manager in and hopefully he'll go on and take the club a step further."

Watford hall of famer Mooney played 291 times for the Hertfordshire side between 1994 and 2001, scoring 65 goals in the process.

His former team-mate and current Reading assistant manager Nigel Gibbs, who featured over 400 times for Watford, is being touted as a potential candidate should Mackay leave.

"Nigel Gibbs is a coach, he's got an excellent pedigree in coaching," said Mooney.

"If there was a manager to come in I could see Nigel working with him but I don't see Nigel Gibbs as a manager.

"There's an awful lot of good managers out of work and I'm sure with Graham Taylor in charge, as a player with him for years at Watford, I know very few things surprise him.

"I'm sure he'll be putting wheels in motion, speaking to people and will appoint somebody for the benefit of the club, it won't be a knee-jerk reaction."