Watford are expected to sack Quique Sánchez Flores shortly and hire Chris Hughton in what would be the club’s second managerial change of the season already.
Flores’s job is hanging by a thread after Watford’s 2-1 defeat to Southampton with patience at boardroom level believed to have snapped with the Spaniard, who has failed to reverse the side’s slump since returning to Vicarage Road in September. The 54-year-old has only won one of his 10 league games since replacing Javi Gracia, who was sacked after a poor start to the season. Following the defeat at St Mary’s Watford were bottom of the Premier League and six points from safety.
Watford’s board started interviewing candidates last week and it is thought that Hughton has a good chance of being given the job. He has been out of work since being fired by Brighton at the end of last season and he is keen to land a role at a Premier League side. He turned down an offer to join Cardiff City, who are 10th in the Championship, earlier this season.
Hughton would offer Watford stability after a troubled spell. The 60-year-old is respected within the game and he did well at Brighton, winning them promotion to the Premier League in 2017 and keeping them safe from relegation for two seasons. However Hughton, who has also had spells at Birmingham, Norwich and Newcastle, was replaced by Graham Potter after Brighton’s form nose dived towards the end of his reign at the Amex Stadium.
Watford desperately need to make the right appointment. Gracia took them to the FA Cup final and finished 11th last season but he struggled at the start of this campaign, picking up one point from his first four league games. He was replaced by Flores, who was sacked by Watford at the end of the 2015-16 season.
Flores has been unable to make a positive impact. His tactics are deemed negative and he has failed to convince his players that is was the right man. He did not win a league game until last month’s victory at Norwich City and the defeat by Southampton looks set to prove the final straw for an anxious hierarchy.