Watford have appointed Xisco Munoz as their new head coach following the sacking of Vladimir Ivic.
The 40-year-old Spaniard has left his role in charge of Georgian top-flight side Dinamo Tbilisi and becomes Watford’s fifth head coach in just over a year.
Xisco is a former Valencia winger who won La Liga and the UEFA Cup under Rafa Benitez and shares the same agent as ex-Watford boss Javi Gracia.
During his playing career he also represented Real Betis, Tenerife, Recreativo, Levante and Dinamo Tbilisi, before moving into coaching at the age of 36.
Xisco recently guided Dinamo Tbilisi to their second consecutive title and now moves to Vicarage Road hoping to take Watford back to the Premier League following their relegation last season.
His first game in charge of Watford is against promotion rivals and Championship 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.
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.
“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.” (1/2) pic.twitter.com/vmHHCeJEvP
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) December 20, 2020
“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.”
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.
“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.”