Malky wants Watford job on a permanent basis

Watford chairman Graham Simpson insists Norwich legend Malky Mackay is in the running to succeed Aidy Boothroyd after being placed in temporary charge at Vicarage Road.

Ex-Canary Malky Mackay has admitted he is interested in replacing Adrian Boothroyd on a full-time basis after taking over as caretaker manager at Vicarage Road.

Boothroyd departed the Championship club on Monday evening after the 4-3 defeat at home to Blackpool which left them in 21st place in the table. The move came after a disastrous 12 months in which Boothroyd's side picked up just 12 wins in their last 48 league matches to fall from apparent promotion certainties to relegation strugglers.

The 36-year-old former Norwich City defender was placed in temporary charge yesterday morning and his job in the short-term is to prepare his players for Sunday's trip to Swansea.

“The players are looking forward to the game on Sunday and that is what we will focus on,” he said.

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“We've had a meeting with all the players and I have told them what I expect over this period.

“I would be interested in taking the job but that is not for me to decide. Results dictate everything in this business but I'd like to be in the shake-up.”

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Mackay joined the Hornets in the summer of 2005 after being signed by Boothroyd and became reserve-team coach after retiring from playing last summer. He believes Boothroyd will “go down in Watford folklore” after guiding them to an improbable promotion to the Premier League in May 2006 just 14 months after taking charge as a virtual unknown.

He said: “It was a shock without a doubt. Aidy was a magnificent character and will go down in Watford folklore for what he achieved at this club with a limited budget. But times move on and he is no longer with us.

“It's been well documented that there has been a tightening of the belt here this season. We never won promotion after spending a vast amount of money last year and there are restrictions everywhere with the credit crunch and we are no different.”

Chairman Graham Simpson believes that after a year of dismal results and player sales at Vicarage Road Boothroyd needs a break from the game. He has already been installed as favourite to replace the sacked Stan Ternent at Huddersfield and Simpson insists he will come back as a top manager.

He said: “I looked at the situation over the last 12 months and I looked at the way the football team had been performing with around 12 wins in 48 games. I felt it was time for Aidy and I to sit down and have a chat about the future.

“He did a fantastic job, let's be absolutely clear, he took us into the Premier League at the first time of asking, to an FA Cup semi-final - but everybody's human and everybody needs a little break occasionally because it is a hard, hard job.

“I think he has the potential to be a great manager. He needs to learn certain things, like we all do in life, but I think he's got great potential. He's a great communicator, a great motivator, a great organiser and there's no reason why after a break hecome again and be even better.”

Mackay will be assisted by former Norwich coach Martin Hunter, another member of Boothroyd's backroom staff.

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