Watford have announced Vladimir Ivic as Nigel Pearson’s successor at Vicarage Road on a one-year deal.
The Hornets went through three managers during a tumultuous 2019/20 campaign as they dropped down to the Championship following a five-season stint in the top-flight.
Javi Gracia received his marching orders four games into the Premier League season before his successor, former boss Quique Sanchez Flores, was sacked after less than three months in charge. Languishing at the foot of the table, the Hornets then looked to have turned a corner under Nigel Pearson, who guided them out of the relegation zone.
But following a 3-1 defeat at West Ham on matchday 36, Pearson, too, surprisingly received the boot and after a pair defeats in their final two encounters, Watford’s demise to the second tier was confirmed.
Now, it’s the turn of Ivic to enter the Vicarage Road cauldron, with Watford appointing the Serb on a one-year deal.
Ivic left his post at Maccabi Tel Aviv earlier this summer having led them to back-to-back titles and is now the man tasked with guiding Watford back into the Premier League.
“First of all, from the beginning I have a big expectation of myself and of my coaching staff,” Ivić told watfordfc.com.
“It’s my first time in England and I need to adapt as fast as possible, to do the best for the club is very important to me.”
The 43-year-old has no experience of English football as either a player or a manager but has impressed Watford officials during their search for a new boss.
After spending much of his playing career in his native Serbia with Partizan Belgrade, Ivic began his career in management at Greek giants PAOK – where he spent his final four years as a crafty attacking midfielder – initially coaching the Under-20 side before being appointed the first-team boss in 2016 – winning the Greek Cup a year later.
Ivic then enjoyed a mightily successful two-year spell at Maccabi Tel Aviv – overseeing just eight defeats in the 91 games he took charge.
It’s understood the former Serbia and Montenegro international beat out Barnsley boss Gerhard Struber to the post after holding talks with the club last week.
Following his appointment, Ivic is set to oversee the start of pre-season when the Watford players return to training next week.