Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Jokanovic Becomes Watford's Fourth Manager in Six Weeks

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Jokanovic Becomes Watford's Fourth Manager in Six Weeks

Article excerpt

Byline: Julian Bennetts

WATFORD today appointed Slavisa Jokanovic as head coach in place of Billy McKinlay, who only lasted eight days in the job.

The shocking development means Watford are already on their fourth manager of the season and comes after McKinlay refused the club's request last night to accept a reduced role under the new boss.

McKinlay -- who only succeeded Oscar Garcia last Monday -- is expected to confirm his departure from the club today with Watford having announced the new appointment at lunchtime.

The Scot has been replaced by former Chelsea midfielder Jokanovic, who until recently was head coach of Hercules in the Spanish Third Division.

Jokanovic led Serbian side Partizan Belgrade to the double in 2007-08 and 2008-09 before moving on to Muangthong United in Thailand and an underwhelming spell at Levski Sofia.

Watford began the season with Beppe Sannino as manager but he resigned on August 31 amid rumours of a dressing-room rift and was replaced by former Brighton boss Garcia.

Yet he spent a week in hospital with chest pains after just one game in charge and was replaced by McKinlay, who had only joined the club three days earlier and was expecting to work as the Spaniard's assistant.

Despite the upheaval, Jokanovic inherits a side who are third in the Championship and the club's owner, Gino Pozzo, is unapologetic about the brutal dismissal of McKinlay.

"Our job is always to act in the best long-term interests of this club. There can be no compromise on this -- whatever the circumstances," he said.

"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. …

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