Roy Hodgson has already made thoughts on Watford owners clear amid links to club

Watford 0-1 Spurs: Match in pictures

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Watford are on the verge of appointing Roy Hodgson as their new manager after axing Claudio Ranieri – with Hodgson set to be reunited with Hornets owner Gino Pozzo over two decades on from their time together at Udinese.

Watford’s disastrous 3-0 defeat to relegation rivals Norwich on Friday night proved to be terminal for Ranieri, who was sacked on Monday evening.

And the club have moved swiftly to line up Hodgson as the Italian’s successor.

Hodgson has been out of work since leaving Crystal Palace last summer, but the veteran boasts a wealth of experience in leading teams away from trouble.

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But he’s now reportedly agreed terms to return to the Premier League as the Hornets’ 16th manager in just 10 years.

While the Pozzo family, Watford’s notorious owners, have been criticised for their scattergun managerial approach, Hodgson is well known to them.

The 74-year-old has worked with the Pozzo family before during his time at Udinese back in 2001 – and he even talked up their controversial multi-club ownership approach during his time at Crystal Palace.

Hodgson wrote in his pre-match programme notes back in 2017: “I worked with Watford’s owner Gino Pozzo at Udinese many years ago and have always admired the talent he and his family have shown for unearthing new talent from all over the globe.”

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Hodgson will inherit a team currently at their lowest ebb following Friday night’s shock thumping at the hands of Norwich.

The Hertfordshire outfit are slumped in 19th place – but they are just two points from safety with two games in hand.

The Pozzo family will be hopeful that Hodgson, who has also enjoyed managerial spells with Liverpool and the England national team, can spark an immediate upturn in fortunes.

Amazingly, Hodgson is already the Hornets’ third boss this season following their return to the Premier League in the summer.

Despite leading Watford to promotion from the Championship last term, Xisco Munez was dismissed after just seven games.

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Ranieri was quickly named as Munez’s successor, but the former Premier League title winner failed to have the desired impact at Vicarage Road.

The 70-year-old took just seven points from his 14 games at the helm before he was given his marching orders.

Watford announced his departure with a statement which read: “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.”

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