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Wilder hired as Watford boss after Bilic sacking

Barrington Coombs - PA Images / PA Images / Getty

Watford hired Chris Wilder as their new manager on Tuesday after sacking Slaven Bilic just six months into his reign at the Championship club.

Former Middlesbrough boss Wilder has agreed a contract until the end of the current campaign.

"The Hornets are pleased to confirm the appointment of Chris Wilder as head coach on a contract until the end of this season," a statement on Watford's website announced.

Wilder, 55, led Sheffield United from League One to the Premier League in the space of three seasons, earning promotion to the top flight in 2019.

He was sacked by United in 2021 with the club heading towards relegation back to the Championship.

Wilder took over at Middlesbrough later that year but lasted less than 12 months before he was sacked in October 2022 with the club languishing in the Championship relegation zone.

Watford are betting that Wilder can recreate his Sheffield success at Vicarage Road as they chase promotion following last season's relegation from the Premier League.

Wilder's arrival was confirmed just minutes after Watford axed former Croatia boss Bilic, who paid the price for a poor run of form that put the team's promotion bid in danger.

Watford have won just three matches since Christmas and sit ninth in the second-tier table.

The 54-year-old is the latest Watford manager to be axed by demanding owners the Pozzo family over the past decade.

Wilder is Watford's 18th full-time manager since July 2012.

His first match in charge of the Hornets will be at QPR on Saturday.

"We are all ambitious to succeed this season, so something new is needed quickly while the opportunity of promotion is still real," Watford technical director Ben Manga said.

"With the January transfer window over, to change coach is the only option available to re-energise for the final games ahead."

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