Watford have sacked three managers this season and as they sit just three points above the relegation zone with two to play are on the hunt for a new man, following the departure of Nigel Pearson.

The dismissal of Pearson has left fans and pundits largely surprised, with the former Leicester man taking over when the club were seven points adrift at the bottom.

He’s since led them out of the bottom three and within touching distance of mathematical safety. Two wins since the restart wasn’t enough according to the board and following defeat to West Ham the club are now looking for a new manager to take them forward.

With three sackings in a season, and Pearson’s considered a little harsh, is there going to be a stigma attached to the club which could affect the hiring process?

Hayden Mullins has been installed as the interim manager, and will likely take charge for for the remaining two fixtures against Manchester City and Arsenal, with him also priced at 12/1 to get the job according to many of the bookies.

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Claude Puel is the current favourite, with a number of the usual suspects also tipped including Chris Hughton, Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew.

But who could take the job? And who would actually want it? We take a look at some of the candidates who may get the call…

Claude Puel

Claude Puel has had brief stints at both Southampton and Leicester and there’s no doubt he’d take another crack at the Premier League with Watford.

He’s favourite at 6/4 with most bookmakers, although the Hornets would have to lure him away from St Etienne, where he has reached the Coupe de France Final, to be played on July 24.

That would likely mean no decision on his future will come before then, with him then having around a month to prepare for a new season with Watford.

Danny Cowley

The Cowley brothers are priced at 8/1 to take over at Vicarage Road and it would certainly be an interesting choice.

Danny Cowley has typically invested his time in projects, and the fact that Watford have a habit of pulling the trigger early, may put him off the job.

However, it’s an opportunity to manage in the Premier League, a huge leap from managing Concord Rangers just five years ago.

The young manager is highly thought of despite his recent sacking from Huddersfield, which was believed to be due to rows over recruitment. He won’t be unemployed for long, with Bristol City also believed to be interested.

Chris Hughton

Chris Hughton has been out of a job since May last year and could prove a good appointment, with the 61-year-old having solidified Brighton’s position in the Premier League over the last few seasons.

Again, he could be put off by the short-term nature of managers in the role recently, with Hughton enjoying five years on the South Coast before he was sacked.

At 5/1 though and no compensation required to be paid, he’s among the top of the wishlist for a number of clubs currently, including Bristol City.

John Terry

John Terry is looking likely to face relegation as Aston Villa assistant and with the likes of Mikel Arteta, Frank Lampard and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer enjoying life as Premier League managers, he may be tempted into taking the hotseat at Vicarage Road.

He’s among the favourites for the job, priced at 10/1, just behind Sam Allardyce and it could be an interesting punt, albeit a long shot.

If Terry is offered the job, it could be an offer he can’t refuse, but he also may want a more stable first job in management, which he may get at Aston Villa or elsewhere.

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