This afternoon we’ll publish the first of a two-part exclusive interview with former Watford head coach Slaven Bilic.

He has spoken at length to our correspondent Andrew French about his time at the club and life since leaving Vicarage Road.

It is an interview he always wanted to give, and agreed to some time ago.

But he deliberately didn’t do it immediately after he had left so as not to have any effect on Chris Wilder’s time at the club, and also waited until Valerien Ismael has settled in with publication timed – at Bilic’s request – during an international break so, in his words, “I don’t take away the focus when the team are playing”.

Stretching to more than 4,500 words, Bilic gives his onwn personal reflections, as well as in-depth insight, into issues such as:

- What did and didn’t happen in the January transfer window

- The changes that he felt were badly timed

- The member of staff he felt he worked particularly well with

- The frustration among fans he sensed from day one

- How his sacking was handled

- What he thinks could have been achieved had he been allowed to stay

- How he is still following Watford’s fortunes on TV

- His views on the Pozzos as owners

- Why he is urging the club to stand by Valerien Ismael

- His message to the Watford fans

Bilic also discusses life managing in the Saudi League, where he has already come up against Cristiano Ronaldo and a host of other international stars.

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