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Watford sack Nigel Pearson, start hunt for fourth manager this season

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Watford have sacked manager Nigel Pearson with just two games remaining of the season.

The Daily Mail first reported that Pearson would leave the club before the side's final games against Arsenal and Manchester City and sources confirmed the news to ESPN later on Sunday.

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"Watford FC confirms that Nigel Pearson has left the club with immediate effect," the club said in a brief statement. "Hayden Mullins, with Graham Stack as his assistant, will take up the position of Interim Head Coach for the Hornets' final two Premier League fixtures of the 2019/20 season."

Pearson was Watford's third manager this season, following Javi Gracia and Quique Sanchez Flores.

Watford are in 17th position, three points ahead of Bournemouth and the relegation zone.

The former Leicester City boss joined Watford in December when the club were bottom of the league and was given a contract until the end of the season.

He won seven Premier League matches during his tenure, including a shock win over eventual champions Liverpool.

Prior to Watford, Pearson spent six months in charge of Belgian side Oud-Heverlee Leuven.

Pearson, during his spell as manager of Leicester, won promotion to the Premier League with the Foxes in 2014 but after keeping them in the division in the 2014-15 season, he was replaced by Claudio Ranieri. The Italian then masterminded one of the most unlikely success stories of all time as Leicester won the league title in 2016.

West Ham beat Watford 3-1 on Friday, in what turned out to be Pearson's final match in charge.

Goals from Michail Antonio, Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice were enough for David Moyes' men to all-but secure Premier League survival, while Watford remain in danger ahead of the final games of the season.