Forest Green Rovers have appointed ex-Watford captain Troy Deeney as head coach following the departure of David Horseman by mutual consent.
Deeney, 35 seen here with our Michael Yiakoumi, has been working in a player-coach capacity since joining the League Two club in the summer.
Horseman, 39, spent only five months in charge and has left following the team’s FA Cup exit to Blackpool.
Rovers have won only four league matches this season and sit 23rd in the table, five points from safety.
Forest Green owner Dale Vince said he needed to “act decisively to improve our performances and league position”.
“Troy came to us to begin his career in coaching and take the next step of his career – this is happening sooner than expected but he’s built strong relationships already with our staff, squad and fans – and is well placed for the challenge,” said Vince.
“We’ll strengthen our squad in the coming transfer window as well, to give ourselves the best chance of first securing our place in League Two before looking upward once more, toward League One and beyond.”
Deeney spent 11 years as a striker with Watford after moving to Vicarage Road from Walsall in 2010, and went on to score 140 goals in 419 appearances as he twice helped the Hornets win promotion to the Premier League and led them to the 2019 FA Cup final.
He joined Forest Green after leaving Championship side Birmingham City in the summer and has scored four goals in 18 appearances this season while also working on the coaching staff at The New Lawn.
He becomes the club’s fourth boss in 19 months since the departure of Rob Edwards in May 2022, after Ian Burchnall, Duncan Ferguson and Horseman.
His first game in charge will be Friday’s visit of Gillingham.
“One thing I can assure everyone is that we will work our very hardest to bring this wonderful club back to success,” said Deeney.
“This is an exciting new role with many challenges that I’ll embrace, and there’s a lot of work for us to do, which has already started.”