New Watford head coach spoke to club 'many days' before appointment

Watford FC Stadium Inside

Slavisa Jokanovic was named as Billy McKinlay’s replacement on Tuesday.

The former Chelsea midfielder left his role in charge of Spanish lower league club Hercules to take the reigns at Vicarage Road.

Being tasked with leading the club to the Premier League, Jokanovic is the fourth boss the Hornets have had this season, although two departures - Beppe Sannino and Oscar Garcia - were inevitable.

The ex-Slovenia captain appeared to replace outgoing head coach Billy McKinlay out of the blue, with no apparent forethought in the appointment, although he has revealed to the Watford Observer that he was in talks with the Hertfordshire outfit for a number of days prior to his arrival.

He said: “There were some conversations about working at Watford many days before.

“Really on Sunday was the first time I had news from Watford saying: ‘We are really interested in you coming here’.”

Having been the latest in a long line of managerial appointments this season, Jokanovic came under scrutiny for his apparent willingness to take the job regardless of McKinlay’s position. However, he says that he had no idea what was happening at the club before his appointment, having been outside of England for a number of years.

The 46-year-old said: “I spoke with Gino [Pozzo, owner]. I don’t know really what happened before.

“It’s a little bit of a strange situation. One coach has gone and another coach has gone for certain reasons.

“A third and fourth coach have now come, but in football it is normal that somebody loses their job and somebody else starts working here.

“I spoke about the possibility of working here and this situation happened very fast.

“This is not a question for me. I arrived here and Watford were without a coach. This is a question about the coach before me.

“If you are interested in this situation you must speak with the club because I have been in another country and I don’t really know how I can explain this situation.”

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