WATFORD, England — Watford has hired Nigel Pearson as manager in the hope his experience of an English Premier League relegation struggle can ensure the team’s survival.

The team has won only once in 15 matches this season and sits at the bottom of the standings, leading to Quique Sanchez Flores being fired less than three months into his second spell as manager.

The 56-year-old Pearson has been hired until the end of the season but won’t be in charge for Saturday’s game at Crystal Palace. Pearson ensured Leicester stayed in the Premier League in 2015 when the team’s prospects looked bleak. He left before the team’s improbable run to the title a year later.

He arrives at a Watford side eight points from safety.

“Nigel is an impressive coach and comes with all of the experience and success we believe can have a very positive impact on our season,” Watford chairman and CEO Scott Duxbury said. “It’s been a pleasure spending time listening to the passion with which he talks about the game.

“His enthusiasm, organisation, and motivation will, I’m certain, prove essential in driving the team forwards and upwards over the coming weeks and months.”

Pearson’s most recent job was at Oud-Heverlee Leuven.

“I’d like to thank Hayden Mullins for stepping in to coach the team on an interim basis. He is fully deserving of everyone’s gratitude,” Duxbury added.

“Tomorrow gives the perfect opportunity for Nigel to be officially introduced to our supporters as Hayden leads the team in the quest for a very important three points.”


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