Billy McKinlay sacked: Watford manager replaced by Slavisa Jokanovic just EIGHT days after appointment

The Championship club have already appointed their fourth manager of the season

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Billy McKinlay has been replaced at Watford by Slavisa Jokanovic, meaning the high-flying Championship side are now onto their fourth manager this season.

McKinlay was only appointed eight days ago, but despite picking up four points from his two games in charge, he has been replaced.

A statement on the club's website read: "Slavisa Jokanovic has been appointed as Head Coach at Watford FC, replacing Billy McKinlay with immediate effect."

Jokanovic spent two-years as a Chelsea player in the early 2000s and during his managerial career led Partizan Belgrade to an unprecedented 'double double' in the Serbian League - the SuperLiga and Serbian Cup - two seasons in succession, 2007/08 and 2008/09.

The former Yugoslavia and Serbia & Montenegro international has also managed Levski Sofia and Thai team Muangthong United. His most recent role was at Spanish side Hercules, who play in the third tier.

Watford are currently third in the Championship but have endured a torrid time off the pitch.

Giuseppe Sannino was in charge at the start of the season but resigned on August 31 amid reports of dressing room unrest. The Italian said he had taken the club "as far as I can". He was in charge a total of nine months.

Giuseppe Sannino was first to leave


Former Brighton manager Oscar Garcia replaced Sannino but due to health problems, was forced to resign his post at Vicarage Road.

Oscar Garcia stepped down amid health issues


McKinlay had been hired as a first-team coach a week prior to Garcia's departure, and when it was confirmed another change was need, was given the top job. At the time of his appointment on 29 September, Watford chief executive, Scott Duxbury, said: “In Billy McKinlay, we have someone with the qualities and significant experience to build further on the foundations already laid for a successful season ahead.”

Eight days after his appointment, the building process is over.

In his two games in charge, McKinlay oversaw a 2-1 win against Brentford before a 1-1 draw at Brighton at the weekend.

Explaining the decision to hire 46-year-old Jokanovic, Hornets owner Gino Pozzo said in a statement published on the club's official website: "Our job is always to act in the best long-term interests of this football club. There can be no compromise on this - whatever the circumstances.

"I fully support and endorse the view from our technical staff that, given the talented squad which has been assembled and our position in the league, an experienced head coach with a winning pedigree is of primary importance to help ensure the success we are all striving for.

"The supporters of Watford have always been very understanding towards our project here and I am certain they will continue to do everything they can to support the new coach and his squad."