Tom Cleverley appointed interim heach coach at Watford after Valerien Ismael sacked

Valerien Ismael was in charge of Watford for ten months (Getty Images)
Valerien Ismael was in charge of Watford for ten months (Getty Images)

Watford have announced Tom Cleverley as interim head coach after the sacking of Valerien Ismael.

The Hornets were beaten 2-1 by Coventry on Saturday, in what proved to be the final match of Ismael’s ten-month spell in charge at Vicarage Road.

Watford sit 13th in the Championship table, but only seven points clear of the relegation zone after a run of one win in 13 matches in all competitions.

Cleverley retired from football last summer, after seven seasons at Watford, and has been lead coach of the club’s U18 side.

A statement said: “The Hornets thank Valerien and his staff for their dedication and commitment, however the club's Board considers it an appropriate time to make a change in order to improve results.

“Tom Cleverley's staff will be confirmed in due course.”

Watford handed Ismael a contract extension in October, when the club were 20th in the table after one win in eight games.

Explaining the decision, sporting director Cristiano Giaretta insisted that “the progress we can see gives us great confidence”.

However, Ismael’s sacking is now the 22nd managerial change, including caretaker spells, that has been made since the Pozzo family took over at the club in 2012.

Ismael was upbeat on Saturday, hours before his sacking, as he praise his side’s performance despite the defeat to Coventry.

It’s a real pity today but we have seen a good performance from our players,” Ismael said.

“Good energy on the pitch, good dynamic. We tried to change the way things are going. When we go to shoot, we always took the extra touch, crosses went too high or low or blocked.

“We shot a lot on target today, so our game was back and now it’s just the lack of confidence to play freely.

“I think we were really good and didn’t see anything from Coventry today. It was just a day like that where everything runs against you.”