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Sportsmail has learned that there is emerging disquiet from inside the Hornets first-team camp over the Italian’s methods just three months into his tenure following his appointment in October.
Watford have lost eight of the 10 matches Ranieri has been in charge – a dismal return that leaves the club just two points clear of the relegation zone.
Claudio Ranieri finds himself under increasing pressure to turn Watford’s season around
In usual circumstances, a Watford boss would be under severe threat from the sack following such a poor sequence of results given the Pozzo family’s penchant for dismissing managers.
However, there is a feeling Ranieri could be afforded more time than usual by the Watford hierarchy given his long-standing friendship with members of the Pozzo family and his reputation.
Nevertheless, there is a sense at the club’s Hertfordshire training HQ that the board cannot tolerate the poor results much longer given the glaring risk of relegation.
Ranieri could be given more time than usual given his relationship with the Pozzo family (Watford owner Gino Pozzo pictured)
Ranieri heads into the weekend clash versus Tottenham boosted by the fact that star striker Emmanuel Dennis will not be going to the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria.
Key attacker Ismaila Sarr has been included in the Senegal squad, but his participation in the tournament is in doubt due to a knee injury, while William Troost-Ekong will meet up with Nigeria.
Since being appointed in October Ranieri has overseen eight defeats in ten matches
However, despite the prospect of losing players to international duty Watford are not expected to go heavily into the January transfer window, with the club set to largely rely on the loan market.
Defeat to Spurs could see Watford fall into the bottom three by Sunday night, with sources claiming Ranieri’s future will come under more scrutiny if they slump into the relegation zone.
Ranieri famously led Leicester to a historic Premier League title victory in 2016, but he was sacked after just 106 days in charge of Fulham in 2019, with the west London club ultimately relegated.
And there were similar doubts from a number of Fulham players during his short reign about whether he had the tools to lead a team away from relegation trouble.
Source: DailyMail Sports