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"There was no fight at half-time" - Deeney dispels Watford gossip

Troy Deeney has dismissed a rumour that a half-time punch-up in the Watford dressing room was behind the sacking of Nigel Pearson.

Despite guiding Watford to the brink of Premier League safety, Pearson became the third manager to be sacked by the club this season alone.

His final game in charge was a 3-1 defeat away to West Ham on Friday, which saw the Hornets 3-0 down inside 36-minutes.

When news of Pearson's sacking began to emerge on Sunday, rumours ran riot that there had been a fight in the London Stadium dressing room at the break.

"I just want to put it out there, there was no fight at half-time," Deeney told BeIN Sports on Monday.

"It is 2020, you don't do that any more and certainly with all the cameras you would see a lot more if that was the case.

"The gaffer didn't put his hands on anybody. He was just frustrated and had a firm talking to us.

"No-one was fighting, no-one was punched and no-one was tickled. There were no hands thrown.

"Second of all Troy will not be picking teams because I have read that online as well. I am player-coach apparently. Anything else I have missed out? We wasn't locked in so a lot of interesting things."

Hayden Mullins has been placed in temporary charge of Watford for their remaining games with Manchester City (Wednesday, 8pm) and Arsenal (Sunday, 4pm).

He'll be assisted by former Republic of Ireland U21 and Arsenal goalkeeper Graham Stack.

Deeney admits he was surprised by Pearson's sacking, which followed those of Javi Gracia and Quique Sanchez Flores this season.

"You get to a point in football where you are not surprised any more, but I would say this one surprised me and took me back a bit," Deeney said.

"I wasn't anticipating that was going to be the situation we'd walk into on Sunday. We had an up and down week before.

"We won two games (v Norwich and Newcastle) and you'd like to think we would have got a better result against West Ham, but that wasn't to be and the club made a decision.

"You have to respect that decision. Again they pay us, they are our bosses essentially and we have to respect the decision and give all the support you can to good people in Hayden and Stacky.

"We want to make sure we give them the best chance because ultimately their career depends on it moving forward."

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