Ex-Portsmouth player of the season Hayden Mullins handed Watford Premier League challenge

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Former Pompey midfielder Hayden Mullins has been challenged to boost Watford’s faltering bid for Premier League survival.

The 40-year-old is now interim head coach, temporarily stepping up from his role overseeing the Hornets’ under-23s.

Former Pompey midfielder Hayden Mullins has been appointed interim head coach at struggling Watford. Picture: Oliver Zee

Former Pompey midfielder Hayden Mullins has been appointed interim head coach at struggling Watford. Picture: Oliver Zee

Rock bottom Watford, who sacked Quique Sanchez Flores at the weekend, travel to Leicester City this evening (7.30pm).

As a player, Mullins spent three-and-a-half seasons at Fratton Park, making 128 appearances and scoring three goals.

He was also voted as the 2010-11 The News/Sports Mail’s Player of the Season, when Steve Cotterill was at the helm in the Championship.

A reliable performer, Mullins featured at right-back in the 4-1 FA Cup fifth-round triumph at Southampton in February 2010.

Then he lined-up at left-back in the semi-final victory over Spurs and the final against Chelsea, when Avram Grant’s side lost 1-0 at Wembley.

However, primarily the ex-West Ham United man was a midfielder and departed in the summer of 2012, with the club looking to slash their wage bill by removing all senior players.

Watford are currently six points adrift of Premier League safety, with a vastly inferior goal difference.