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A fresh start for Super Eagles' Okoye & Troost-Ekong as Watford names new coach

September 26th 2022, 2:18:29 pm

Both players will meet a new manager in charge after the Hornets hired a fifth coach in 12 months and ninth in three years.

Okoye and Troost-Ekong will have Slaven Bilic as new boss at Watford.

Nigerian goalkeeper Maduka Okoye and William Troost-Ekong will welcome a new manager at Championship club Watford.

The club has confirmed the sacking of manager Rob Edwards with immediate effect after a poor start to life in the SkyBet Championship.

"Watford FC has relieved Rob Edwards of his duties as Head Coach," the club said in an official statement.

Edwards will be replaced by former West Ham United boss, Slaven Bilic, who will take over reigns at Vicarage Road.

Bilic is expected to put pen to paper on an 18-month deal subject to the Croatian getting a work permit.

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"Watford FC confirms Slaven Bilić as its new Head Coach on an 18-month contract, subject to receiving the relevant work permit," the club stated in a separate statement.

Following the sack, the club owner stated that the decision to change the manager was in the interest of the club.

"As with all decisions taken by the Board, I believe this change to be in the best interests of the club,” owner Gino Pozzo stated.

POOL/AFP

Pozzo added that Bilic's experience made him the perfect man to replace Edwards.

"Now we must move forward, and, in Slaven Bilić, we have secured the services of an experienced coach who has recent experience of promotion to the Premier League," he added.

Bilic comes into Watford with enough experience at this level, having led West Bromwich Albion to the Premier League in the 2019/20 season.

The 54-year-old former Croatia International also managed in the Premier League with West Ham before stints with Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia and most recently in China with Beijing Guoan. He’s also managed in Russia and his homeland Croatia.

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Okoye and Troost-Ekong are not the only Nigerians at the club, Samuel Kalu and Dele Tom-Bashiru are also on the payroll of the Hornets.

However, all four have struggled for game time this season and the latest change could work in their favour.

Of the quartet, only centre-back Troost-Ekong has featured this season, playing just 97 minutes across two matches.

Goalkeeper Maduka is currently on international duties with Nigeria and will be looking to make amends after his error on Friday when the Super Eagles face Algeria on Tuesday.

Izuchukwu Akawor
Izuchukwu is an economist in love with football, photography, humour and social media.

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