Claudio Ranieri believes Watford can stay up under Roy Hodgson

Sacked Claudio Ranieri gives Watford a classy goodbye message from his car as he leaves the club’s training base for the final time… and says the struggling Hornets CAN stay up under incoming boss Roy Hodgson

  • Claudio Ranieri was sacked by Premier League side Watford on Monday
  • The Italian was let go after the Hornets were beaten 3-0 by Norwich on Friday
  • Roy Hodgson is close to signing a six-month contract as Ranieri’s successor
  • Ranieri gave an interview from his car as he left the training ground on Tuesday
  • The Italian believes the Hornets can stay in the Premier League under Hodgson

Claudio Ranieri gave Watford a classy goodbye message from his car as he left the club’s training ground for the final time – and believes the Hornets can stay up under Roy Hodgson. 

The Italian manager was dismissed by the Pozzo family who own Watford on Monday after just 112 days in charge of the Hornets, who slipped into the relegation zone via a 3-0 home loss to Norwich on Friday night. 

Sportsmail revealed that Hodgson is set to arrive at Watford on Tuesday after signing a six-month contract at Vicarage Road and the sacked Ranieri believes the 74-year-old’s expertise, along with new signings Samir, Edo Kayembe and Hassane Kamara, can keep the Hornets in the Premier League. 

Claudio Ranieri gave Watford a classy goodbye message from his car after his sacking 

Ranieri also believes Watford can stay up with Roy Hodgson (above) set to be named manager

Ranieri told Sky Sports News: ‘I’m not used to speaking after this (type of scenario) that happened, but I wish only good luck to Watford: to the fans, to the board, everything. 

‘That’s football but I believe that these three new players, Watford can be safe. Also arrives a fantastic manager (sic).’ 

Former Crystal Palace boss Hodgson will commit to the club until the end of the season and then review whether he will head into next season at the helm in the summer.

Training is scheduled to start at 2pm this afternoon and the expectancy is that Hodgson will address his new players before taking the session. Just the formalities of the 74-year-old’s contract are left to complete with no late snags expected.

Hodgson has accepted a six-month contract at Watford until the end of the current season

Watford’s players and staff were aware of Hodgson’s imminent arrival late on Monday night. The squad are said to be excited by the arrival of the former England boss and his assistant Ray Lewington.

Ranieri, who leaves the club sat 19th in the Premier League, managed to take just seven points from his time in charge at Vicarage Road. 

Sportsmail exclusively revealed on New Year’s Eve that the Italian was under increasing pressure at Vicarage Road amid doubts over his suitability as head coach and the decision has now arrived after the 3-0 home defeat by Norwich City. 

Ranieri (right) was dismissed after Watford’s 3-0 loss at home to Norwich on Friday night

In a statement, Watford said: ‘The Hornets’ Board recognises Claudio as a man of great integrity and honour, who will always be respected here at Vicarage Road for his efforts in leading the team with dignity.

‘However the Board feels that, with nearly half of the Premier League campaign remaining, a change in the Head Coach position now will give a new appointment sufficient time to work with a talented squad to achieve the immediate goal of retaining Premier League status.’ 

Whoever replaces Ranieri will be their third manager of the season after the Pozzo family, who own Watford, dismissed Xisco Munoz on October 3. Munoz left Watford 14th in the league but they have been in freefall since Ranieri’s arrival.

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