Cleverley named permanent Watford boss

Tom Cleverley
Tom Cleverley took over as interim head coach at Watford after Valerien Ismael was sacked in March [Getty Images]

Tom Cleverley has been named the new permanent head coach of Championship club Watford.

The former England player took over as interim boss after Valerien Ismael was sacked in March.

Cleverley, 34, has lost just one of his seven matches in charge, with the Hornets safe from relegation in 15th place.

The ex-Manchester United and England midfielder spent three spells at Vicarage Road as a player, twice on loan, and retired from his playing career at Watford last year.

He then moved into coaching, taking over as Watford Under-18s coach before he was given the chance to succeed Ismael on a caretaker basis.

'I'm an ambitious manager'

Cleverley now becomes Watford’s 11th permanent head coach since 2018 and eighth since the end of the 2020-21 season.

Earlier this week he spoke to BBC Sport about not being daunted about the high turnover rate of those who take the top job at Vicarage Road.

The midfielder also added that his motivation as a manager comes from what he failed to achieve as a player.

“There is a lot of unfinished business from my playing career,” he explained in an interview with BBC Sport. “That drives me forward with my coaching.

“I didn’t achieve anything in the Champions League with Manchester United. The title we lost to [Manchester] City. I came to Watford when they were in the Premier League. I retired as a player with them in the Championship. None of it sits right.

“I left a few out there as a player. I probably lacked ambition. But as a coach I am very ambitious.”