Watford are set to name Roy Hodgson as their new head coach on a short-term deal, the Watford Observer understands.

The former Crystal Palace boss has agreed to replace Claudio Ranieri following his sacking yesterday and players have been told he will be taking over the position.

It had been expected that he would retire after leaving Palace at the end of last season, before turning 74 in August, but he has been tempted with a return to Premier League football just over half a year later.

While final details are being ironed out this morning, it is thought to be a case of simply dotting the Is and crossing the Ts rather than anything major.

Hodgson has worked with the Pozzo family before in his long and illustrious managerial career, albeit somewhat briefly.

Between May and December 2001 he was in charge of Udinese for 17 matches, winning seven, losing five and drawing five.

He is set for a reunion at Vicarage Road and will be in the dugout for the crucial trip to Burnley in 11 days' time.

He finds Watford in a perilous position, after Ranieri's short and disastrous spell in charge.

From 14 games in all competitions, the Italian was able to pick up just two wins and a draw, as the Hornets dropped into the relegation zone for the first time this season under his watch.

While he garnered some support from club chiefs, who backed him with new transfers earlier this month, only to decide to make a change after a calamitous 3-0 home defeat to Norwich City last week.

Hodgson's first task will be improving a defence that is yet to keep a clean sheet this season, with Watford the first team in Premier League history to go 20 games without keeping out any of their opponents.

He will then need to find greater balance to a lopsided team that has looked decent going forward at times this season, but often lacking at the back and in midfield.

With West Ham, Brighton, Aston Villa, Manchester United and Arsenal all following that trip to Turf Moor, the former England manager will be up against it right from the start.

He will be accompanied by a familiar face at the Vic in his longstanding assistant Ray Lewington, who it is understood will be joining him once again.

Lewington was manager of Watford between 2002-2005 after being in charge of the reserve team under Gianluca Vialli and guided the team to two cup semi-finals, including a 2–1 loss to Southampton in the FA Cup in 2003 and a 2–0 loss over two legs to Liverpool in the League Cup two seasons later.