Soccer News

Soccer-Watford must stay focused after Pearson sacking says interim boss

LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - Relegation-threatened Watford cannot afford to lose their focus following the sacking of manager Nigel Pearson as they fight for their Premier League survival with two games left, interim boss Hayden Mullins said on Monday.

Pearson, who was hired in December with Watford at the bottom of the standings, was sacked after a 3-1 defeat at West Ham United left them three points above the relegation zone ahead of games against Manchester City and Arsenal.

Pearson sparked a transformation with four wins in his first seven games, including a win over champions Liverpool to end the Reds’ unbeaten season, but they have picked up only seven points from seven games since the campaign restarted last month.

“When you work in football, a lot of things happen ... We can’t let it dissuade us from our focus,” Mullins told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s game against second-placed Manchester City.

“The club have made decisions, we have to be professional enough to deal with it. We are a good team, a good unit and squad. We have shown since December we can get results. We’re confident in what we are trying to do.

“I really enjoyed working with Nigel Pearson. I learned a lot and it was a good experience for me.”

Mullins is filling in as interim manager for the second time. The 41-year-old took temporary charge in December when Quique Sanchez Flores was sacked less than three months into his reign after Watford won one of 10 league matches under him. (Reporting by Manasi Pathak; Editing by Ken Ferris)