Devlin left stunned as Lewington is sacked

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The Independent Online

Paul Devlin, the Watford winger, said he was "stunned" by the decision yesterday to sack the club's manager Ray Lewington, after the chief executive Mike Ashton had hinted that Lewington could no longer motivate the playing staff.

Paul Devlin, the Watford winger, said he was "stunned" by the decision yesterday to sack the club's manager Ray Lewington, after the chief executive Mike Ashton had hinted that Lewington could no longer motivate the playing staff.

Lewington was fired after taking one point from five games that left his team four points above the relegation zone. "I'm stunned," Devlin said. "Ray is a brilliant manager. The job he's done here has been a miracle."

Ashton had a different view. "You look at the players' body language and see that they have been down," Ashton said. "The board felt it was time to act. We have been in a downward spiral."

Ashton said the club had already received "considerable" interest in the job and echoed the words of the chairman Graham Simpson, who said they were seeking "a young, progressive manager" to replace Lewington, who took Watford to the Carling Cup semi-finals this season.

Nigel Gibbs and Terry Bullivant, Lewington's former assistants, will take charge until a replacement is chosen.

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