Nigel Pearson has spoken out about his sacking from Watford and said he was upset after the decision and could not understand why it had happened.

Speaking to members of the national press, including the Guardian, the Athletic, the Times and the Telegraph, Pearson explained that, to his knowledge, some of the players were aware of his dismissal before him and that he eventually found via a phone call with technical director Filippo Giraldi, after security guards had not permitted him to enter the club's London Colney training facility.

At the time of the sacking, the Watford Observer was told there had been an argument between Pearson and club owner Gino Pozzo following the 3-1 defeat at West Ham United the previous evening, which eventually led to him becoming the third head coach to be shown the exit door in a turbulent season that ended with the Hornets' relegation.

However, the former boss maintains that he had no real understanding of the reasons behind the decision and that he felt he deserved better treatment after the commitment he believes he had shown during his time at Vicarage Road.

“I’m not going to be anything other than brutally honest about it. I was upset. I was angry. I felt it was… I didn’t understand why it happened," said Pearson.

“I can’t. All I would say is that when I joined Watford, I joined with a very clear understanding that what might happen might not be clear… so that’s a real oxymoron.

“I wasn’t shocked on the day because there were a series of events which I mulled over in my head and sort of put together, and by the time I had got a missed call and rang the person (Giraldi) who rang me and said, ‘You’re not ringing to sack me, are you?’, it was clear.

Harrow Times:

“I’d already rung Craig (Shakespeare, Watford’s then-assistant manager) to say, ‘By the way, I’ve got a missed call and I’ve been stopped from going into the training ground by the security guards’. I said to Shakey, ‘Look, I think we’re in trouble here, but I’ll ring you back in 10 minutes’. I did, and we’d been sacked.”

Harrow Times:

The former Leicester City boss went on to say that he found the club's statement announcing his sacking as "very disrespectful", given particular personal hardships he was having to endure at the time, including the death of his mother and long-lasting effects of having contracted coronavirus.

However, he claims he has now put it behind him and holds no ill feelings towards the club.

“I’ll be honest with the things I didn’t like,” Pearson says. “I found it to be disrespectful that apparently, some players knew before I did, and I thought that given the amount of commitment and, considering my situation at the time of being unwell, considering my mum died just after the new year and I didn’t break stride at work… I thought the press release was a bit disrespectful.

“Not a bit; very disrespectful. I don’t expect people to write me a wonderful epitaph but I thought it was very disrespectful.

“Having said that, I moved on very quickly. It’s not scarred me. I don’t feel bitter now at all. I met lots of good people there, I keep in contact with a number of the staff, I spoke to a couple last night as it happens, and it’s football. What I also don’t intend to hide from, and can’t hide from, is that I sort of expected this type of volatility anyway, just because of the track record of what’s gone before.

“But from how you feel on the day, the two or three days afterwards and beyond, to how I feel (now), I don’t have any bad feeling, any animosity. It’s what it is. It’s an illustration of how some clubs are. There’s no point being overly sensitive about it. Having said that, I wouldn’t treat people in the way that I was treated. But that’s just how it is.”

Pearson opened up further about his struggles with coronavirus, which he believes he contracted during his time with the Hornets, possibly as far back as March.

The then head coach missed a pre-restart friendly against Brentford as well as some pre-match press conferences due to the illness, which was kept under wraps and presumed to be a newly-diagnosed heart condition at the time.

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“I’m presuming that I contracted Covid at Watford in March, like everyone else at Watford contracted it in March," he said. "But of course, back then the blood tests were not necessarily accurate, and I didn’t have a blood test back then, and I’d got no real symptoms which would suggest I was particularly unwell.

“I had a couple of days where I wasn’t very well. I self-isolated after lockdown actually happened. So once the season had been suspended, I stayed down there for another 10 days, just to make sure I was OK, before I went home, because my Dad was going to stay with us back up north.

“It was only when I had a blood test in early June, when the new blood test came out, that it transpired that I’d already had Covid. So my health issues have been really surrounding a sort of second phase of that, and I experienced all that during May, June, July, August, September even.

“Now I’m on different medications. But initially, it transpired I was having heart problems, which was a bit of a shock to me if I’m honest, during that restart period of the Premier League season. So I worked all through that and my heart is OK now, so that’s not something I’m having to deal with. But I was dealing with a situation that was not particularly easy, for sure.

Harrow Times:

“Craig (Shakespeare) was aware of it, and there were days that I missed press conferences for instance, and that was only because on those days I was unable to work. That’s how it is.

“What can I do now? Live a normal life. I’m fine. So I’m not really thinking of it in terms of… I understand how you’re asking the question about being able to work — I’m a lot more healthy than the last time I was working is all I would say.”