Watford sack Nigel Pearson with club just above relegation zone

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Nigel Pearson
Watford have won their last two home games under Nigel Pearson

Watford have sacked manager Nigel Pearson with two games of the Premier League season remaining and the side three points above the relegation zone.

Ex-Leicester boss Pearson is the third manager sacked by the club this season following the exits of Javi Gracia and Quique Sanchez Flores.

Under-23 coach Hayden Mullins will take charge for the remainder of the season with Graham Stack as his assistant.

Pearson was appointed in December on a deal until the end of the season.

He won seven matches in the Premier League - including beating runaway champions Liverpool.

But the Hornets were soundly beaten at West Ham on Friday and with their two remaining matches against Manchester City and Arsenal, club officials fear the consequences if Watford lose both of those fixtures.

Watch: Pearson's final Watford post-match interview

Mullins was also placed in temporary charge following the dismissal of Sanchez Flores in December.

He was in charge for the 2-0 defeat at Leicester and the 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace, by which time Pearson's appointment had already been confirmed.

Whoever replaces Pearson on a permanent basis will be the Hornets' 13th such appointment since Sean Dyche took charge nine years ago.

Watford's many recent managers
ManagerPWPtsWin %
Nigel Pearson (2019-20)2072535
Quique Sanchez Flores (2019)101710
Javi Gracia (2018-19)56186632
Marco Silva (2017-18)2472629
Walter Mazzarri (2016-17)38114029
Quique Sanchez Flores (2015-16)38124532
League records only

'Not scared to make brutal decisions'

Analysis by BBC Sport's Simon Stone

The Watford owners have never been ones for sentiment. Neither have they been scared to make brutal decisions if they felt it was in the best interests of their club.

At this stage of the season, survival is the only thing on their minds.

And the desperate first-half performance in Friday's must-win game at the London Stadium led them to conclude a change was required given the two fixtures that lie ahead.

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