Watford sack Bilic after five months in charge and replace him with ex-Sheffield United boss Wilder

News Desk
Watford boss Slaven Bilic points instructions to his players

Championship outfit Watford have announced that they have sacked Slaven Bilic and replaced him with former Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder.

Bilic was relieved of his duties on Tuesday afternoon after less than six months in charge at Vicarage Road. Ex-Blades head coach Wilder is immediately taking over on a deal until the summer.

Watford have won just three games in the Championship since Christmas and they are ninth in the table.

Wilder’s arrival continues the remarkable churn of managers at Watford under the ownership of the Pozzo family over the past decade.

The 55-year-old becomes the 18th full-time appointment since July 2012, and he is charged with ensuring the club return to the Premier League.

“We are all ambitious to succeed this season, so something new is needed quickly while the opportunity of promotion is still real,” said Ben Manga, the club’s technical director.

“With the January transfer window over, to change coach is the only option available to re-energise for the final games ahead.”

Former West Ham and West Brom boss Bilic was appointed only in September after Rob Edwards was sacked following just 11 games in charge.

Bilic, who has also managed his native Croatia during his two-decade management career, led West Brom to the top flight in 2020.

But he served less than six months of his 18-month deal at Vicarage Road, with his final match a goalless home draw against Preston last weekend.

Wilder oversaw Sheffield United’s rise from League One to the Premier League before securing a ninth-placed finish in the Blades’ first season back in the top flight.

Wilder left the club in March 2021 following a poor run of results, and took over at Middlesbrough the following November only to be given his marching orders a year later.

His first game in charge will be at QPR on Saturday.

The Hornets are 26 points behind leaders Burnley and four points adrift of Norwich, who occupy the final play-off position.

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