Oscar Garcia replaced by Billy McKinlay at Watford

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Watford manager Oscar Garcia has stepped down from his role as head coach after just 27 days in charge due to ill health, and has been replaced by Billy McKinlay.

He was appointed on September 2 and took charge of only one Hornets game - their 1-0 defeat to Charlton as he was shortly admitted to hospital with chest pains.

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The 41-year-old has since been discharged from hospital but feels it's in the best interest of his health to take a step-back from the game.

He will be replaced by former Blackburn and Scotland midfielder Billy McKinlay.

It is the Scotsman's first head-coach role but he was a first-team coach for Fulham in 2007 and is currently the Northern Ireland assistant manager. 


Garcia led Brighton & Hove Albion to the Championship play-offs last year, but quit after failing to obtain promotion to the Premier League. 

"I was closely involved with the appointment of Billy McKinlay, because I was aware that I may not be able to return," the Spaniard told BBC Sport, who leaves with Watford in fourth place in the Championship.

"I always wanted an experienced British coach within our set-up, because it's important to have that mix of cultures and experience with this squad.

"I would like to thank Watford's fans for their kindness during my time here at the club. I will be hoping to see you all as a Premier League club next season."

Safety first

After spending some time in Israel at Maccabi Tel Aviv, the former Barcelona midfielder replaced Beppe Sannino at the beginning of the month but after his health deteriorated, he couldn't risk continuing working in such a high-pressure environment. 

Watford have confirmed there is now no concern over Garcia's health, but he requires rest.

45-year-old McKinlay has over 400 professional appearances to his name, making appearances for: Dundee United, Blackburn and Leicester City between 1984 and 2005.

Watford's next game is at home to Brentford where McKinlay will take charge for the first time. Garcia's assistant coaching pairing of Ruben Martinez and Javier Pereira will remain at Vicarage Road.


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