Nigel Pearson sacked: Former Watford manager breaks public silence since being dismissed

Nigel Pearson has broken his public silence since being abruptly sacked as Watford manager with just two games remaining this season.

The 56-year-old was surprisingly relieved of his duties on Sunday afternoon, despite Watford currently on course to remain in the Premier League as they sit three points above the relegation zone with matches against Arsenal and Manchester City left to play.

The former Leicester City manager had lifted the club off the bottom of the Premier League table and seven points adrift from safety to give them a fighting chance of avoiding the drop, but that rejuvenation has been cut short with his immediate removal as manager, which the club confirmed on Sunday evening.

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A deteriorating relationship with the club owners resulted in Pearson being dismissed along with his head coach Craig Shakespeare, with Under-23s manager Hayden Mullins installed as temporary manager once again this season alongside coach Graham Stack.

Pearson is yet to speak via an official statement on the matter, but he posted a message on Twitter to thank the messages that have been sent his way since news broke of his departure.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the well-wishes I’ve received from Watford supporters and the football community,” Pearson said on Twitter.

“Thank you all for your kind messages. Although not able to finish the task I was brought in to achieve, I wish Watford all the best for their final two games. Cheers, Nige.”

Pearson did not lift the lid on the reasons for his sudden sacking, but it’s understood that he was involved in a verbal altercation with Watford owner Gino Pozzo following Friday night’s 3-1 defeat by West Ham. Pearson had already been informed that he would not remain in charge for the 2020/21 season regardless of whether they survived relegation or not, but a frustration with his methods since the Premier League resumed last month led to the dispute reaching a point of no return.

Confirming the news on Sunday evening, a Watford statement read: “Watford FC confirms that Nigel Pearson has left the club with immediate effect.

“Hayden Mullins, with Graham Stack as his assistant, will take up the position of interim head coach for the Hornets’ final two Premier League fixtures of the 2019/20 season.

“There will be no further club comment.”

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