Watford back Deeney after Ivic’s ‘discipline issues’ claim

Watford have publicly backed captain Troy Deeney following former manager Vladimir Ivic’s claims the striker had “discipline issues”.

Deeney was dropped to the bench for Ivic’s final game in charge – a 2-0 defeat to Huddersfield – before the Serb’s dismissal on Saturday.

Despite scoring in each of the Hornets’ previous three matches, Deeney remained an unused substitute against Huddersfield, which Ivic blamed on off-the-field issues.

When quizzed on his decision not to play his captain, Ivic said: “He didn’t start because he played a lot of full games recently.

“I believe that he wasn’t ready to play from the beginning but the reason he wasn’t able to come on was a discipline issue.”

Vladimir Ivic
Image: Ivic was in charge at Vicarage Road for just four months

In a statement, released on the club’s Twitter on Sunday, Watford chairman and CEO Scott Duxbury said: “Nobody at the club is in any doubt over Troy Deeney’s high level of professionalism in his work.

“Troy is quick to hold his hands up when his conduct has fallen short of the required standard but we are satisfied that was not the case.

Huddersfield v Watford 1:38
Watford sacked Ivic on Saturday after the Hornets were beaten 2-0 by Huddersfield in the Championship

“There will be no hangover from this. We must move on and Troy, as club captain, will play a major role in achieving our aims this season.”

Ivic was sacked after just four months in charge, with the club fifth in the Championship, four points behind the automatic promotion places.

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The 43-year-old took over in August following their relegation from the Premier League and led them for 20 league games – winning nine, drawing seven and losing four – picking up the manager of the month award for November.

Watford’s next match is against promotion rivals and league leaders Norwich – live on Sky Sports Football on Boxing Day – and on January 9 they face Manchester United in the third round of the FA Cup.

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