Friday, 23 March, 2018

Mark Hughes the favourite for Southampton job after Mauricio Pellegrino is sacked

Mauricio Pellegrino has been sacked as manager of Southampton and Matt Le Tissier saw it coming Mauricio Pellegrino has been sacked as manager of Southampton and Matt Le Tissier saw it coming
Kristopher Love | 13 March, 2018, 13:16

Saints' most recent defeat, 3-0 at Newcastle, left the south coast club just one point and one place above the relegation zone.

Former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, veteran Martin O'Neill and Koeman, who was named the new Netherlands coach last month, were among the outsiders for the job listed by bookmakers Skybet.

Southampton is in 17th place, a point and a place above the relegation zone.

Two of Pellegrino's top assistants, Carlos Compagnucci and Xavier Tamarit, were also let go.

The sacking of Pellegrino raises questions once more about Southampton's decision to fire Puel last summer.

The 46-year-old arrived at St Mary's as the replacement for Claude Puel, who was sacked despite guiding Southampton to an eighth-placed finish and the League Cup final.

The team, who are now one point outside the relegation zone, have taken on the form of their coach in recent months in that they've become nearly entirely anonymous, with no recognisable approach or identity to speak of.

Southampton are hoping to announce their new manager before they visit third-tier Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday with their next league game not until 31 March when they travel to West Ham.

Pellegrino, who leaves with the third worst Southampton managerial record in the Premier League, appeared to be bracing himself for the sack after last weekend's loss to Newcastle as he admitted he "observed some players who gave up". The team has been in the Premier League since 2012.

The Times says that top of Southampton's wishlist to succeed Pellegrino is Marco Silva, the former Watford and Hull City head coach, but he is in advanced talks with Benfica over a two-year deal.