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Watford announce Flores exit

Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores will part company with the Premier League side after Sunday’s final match of the season against Sunderland.

Former Valencia, Benfica and Atletico Madrid boss Flores succeeded Slavisa Jokanovic last June ahead of Watford’s top-flight return and has steered them comfortably clear of relegation trouble.

He was named Premier League Manager of the Month in December and led the Hornets to the semi-finals of the FA Cup, defeating Arsenal before being beaten 1-0 by Crystal Palace at Wembley last month.

Their league form has suffered a relative collapse since the turn of the year, with four wins from 18 outings in 2016.

A statement on Watford’s official website read: “Watford Football Club can confirm that Quique Sanchez Flores will leave Vicarage Road at the end of the season following the Sunderland game this weekend.

“We would like to thank Quique. He and the team achieved the target set them at the start of the season of staying in the Premier League for a second year.

“Quique leaves with all our best wishes for the future and the knowledge he is always welcome at Vicarage Road.”

Speaking at a pre-match news conference shortly after his departure was confirmed, Flores confirmed that a difference of opinion with the Watford board over the club’s progress this term was behind the decision not to activate a clause in his deal for a further year in charge.

“Yesterday we had a meeting with the club to make a resume of the season and after that I confirmed that the club and me don’t have the same point of view about the season,” he said.

“So we don’t have the necessary conditions to renew the contract. My contact finishes in June and then I will leave Watford. This is the consequence.”

However, Flores had warm words for both his players and the Watford fanbase.

“I’m very grateful to the players. They made an amazing effort,” he said.

“There was amazing behaviour and feeling with the fans. I felt completely happy with this year.

“I enjoyed this experience. We have a lot of reasons to be happy because we enjoyed this amazing journey. There are a lot of good memories of this season.

“It will be really, really emotional – really special in the last moment, on the last day with the Watford fans.”

Asked about the prospect of continuing his managerial career in England, Flores added: “I don’t rule out anything. I would be happy to stay in England. We will see.”

Fri 13 May, 2016
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