Watford confirm left-field appointment of new manager after sacking Ivic

Date published: Sunday 20th December 2020 8:37 - Samuel Bannister

Watford have announced the appointment of Xisco Munoz as their new head coach – a day after sacking Vladimir Ivic.

Munoz, a former winger who helped Valencia to the double of the LaLiga title and UEFA Cup 16 years ago, was described by the Hornets as having “an attacking philosophy to his coaching”.

The Spaniard joins the Sky Bet Championship side following a period as manager of Dinamo Tbilisi, who he ushered to the Georgian Premier League title earlier this year.

Watford said in a statement on their website: “Watford FC is pleased to confirm the appointment of Xisco Munoz as head coach.

“The 40-year-old Spaniard – with an attacking philosophy to his coaching – was most recently manager at Dinamo Tbilisi, where he guided the club to a second successive Georgian league title in 2020.

“Munoz will be joined at Watford by Roberto Cuesta (assistant coach) and Jorge Abella (strength and conditioning coach), while Antonello Brambilla – who was already at the club – will move into the role of first-team goalkeeping coach.”

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Ivic was four months into his stay at Vicarage Road when Watford confirmed on Saturday night that he would be leaving, just a few hours after a 2-0 defeat at Huddersfield.

Watford’s fourth defeat of the league season – which left them fifth in the table – proved Ivic’s undoing, with the Hertfordshire club’s ninth manager in five years the latest to leave after a short tenure.

The Serbian said the reason why Troy Deeney was an unused substitute at the John Smith’s Stadium – despite the striker scoring in his three previous matches – was because of a “discipline issue”.

Watford defend Deeney

Hornets chairman Scott Duxbury issued a public defence of the club captain earlier on Sunday, saying in a statement: “Nobody at the club is in any doubt over Troy’s high level of professionalism in his work and any dealings with the coaching staff.

“As he’s admitted in the past, Troy is quick to hold his hands up when his conduct has fallen short of the required standard but we are completely satisfied as a club that was not the case ahead of the Huddersfield game.

“There will be no hangover from this. We must move on and Troy, as club captain, will play a major role in achieving our aims this season.”


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