Shakespeare joins Pearson at Watford

CRAIG SHAKESPEARE is to join Nigel Pearson as his assistant at Watford, with the rest of the new coaching staff due to be named within the next 48 hours.

Antonio Diaz Carlavilla, Juan Carlos Oliva Fornos, Dean Austin, Oscar Garcia and Cote Gallardo were all sacked along with manager Quique Sanchez Flores following the 2-1 defeat by Southampton last weekend.

That leaves Pearson, who has been appointed until the end of the season, with several gaps to fill.

Shakespeare worked alongside him during two separate spells at Leicester, with a short stint at Hull City sandwiched in between. Pearson was widely credited with laying the foundations for the Foxes’ Premier League triumph under Claudio Ranieri in 2015/16.

Paul Balsom, now the Head of Performance Innovation at the club, told TGG: “Day one at Leicester (in 2008) was myself, Nigel, Craig Shakespeare and Steve Walsh.

“Looking back, that was a memorable day, because we went on to build a good relationship over a long period of time. The thing I will always thank Nigel for is the support he gave to me and to the sports science, medical and performance analysis staff.”

Shakespeare remained on Ranieri’s staff when Pearson was sacked in the summer of 2015 and when the Italian himself was fired, in February 2017, he was appointed manager and memorably led the club into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Shakespeare got the bullet in October following a disappointing start to the 2017/18 season.

Pearson was in the Directors Box for Watford’s 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace at Vicarage Road on Saturday. Under-23 boss Hayden Mullins was in charge for his only game as caretaker manager.

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