Quique Sanchez Flores will leave his position as Watford’s head coach at the end of the season, the Premier League club have announced.
The 51-year-old Spaniard, who was appointed in June, will exit Vicarage Road after Sunday’s final game against Sunderland, despite leading the Hornets to mid-table security in their first season back in the Premier League and an FA Cup semi-final.
A short statement on Watford’s official Twitter page read:
STATEMENT: #watfordfc confirms Quique Sanchez Flores will leave after the end of the season.
More to follow.
— Watford FC (@WatfordFC) May 13, 2016
Sanchez Flores will have been aware of the fraught nature of the role at Vicarage Road, having replaced Slavisa Jokanovic last summer – the man who guided Watford to the Premier League.
We wrote earlier this month about how it was ‘bonkers to see Flores under pressure at Watford’ – and urged the club to be careful what they wished for.
And he leaves his position despite the club admitting he had achieved his target.
A statement on their club website read: “Watford can confirm that Quique Sanchez Flores will leave Vicarage Road at the end of the season following the Sunderland game this weekend.
“We would like to thank Quique. He and the team achieved the target set them at the start of the season of staying in the Premier League for a second year.
“Quique leaves with all our best wishes for the future and the knowledge he is always welcome at Vicarage Road.”
Flores led the club to the semi-finals of the FA Cup before losing to Crystal Palace at Wembley.
However, that has not been enough to convince the Watford ownership that he is the right man to take the club forward.
Under Flores, Watford won eight of their opening 17 Premier League matches, and a 3-0 victory over Liverpool in December lifted them to within one point of the Champions League qualification places.
But since then, Watford have struggled for consistency and have won only four league matches during a stuttering second half to the season.
Flores becomes the seventh manager to depart Watford since the Pozzo family completed their takeover of the club in 2012 and he is not likely to be short of job offers, with Everton and Leeds United both linked with the Spaniard.
Despite the ongoing speculation over his future, Flores has always handled himself with decorum, admitting as recently as Sunday that he wasn’t afraid of reports he was facing the sack.