Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Mark Hughes named as new Southampton manager

Mark Hughes named as new Southampton manager

Premier League strugglers Southampton have appointed Mark Hughes as their new manager following the sacking of Mauricio Pellegrino, the club announced on Wednesday.

He replaces Mauricio Pellegrino, who was sacked on Monday after a run of just one win in 17 league games left the club in 17th place, one point above the drop zone.

Hughes, a former Southampton player, guided Stoke to top-10 finishes for three successive seasons from 2013 to 2016 but is no stranger to this season's relegation dogfight.

Hughes has been out of work since January when he was axed by Stoke after four and a half years, having previously managed Wales, Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham and QPR.

The Welshman has only eight games to secure Southampton's top-flight status but is bullish about his prospects at a club where he made 60 appearances in his playing career between 1998 and 2000.

"It's a challenge I'm excited by", Hughes said.

"But when you don't get results I understand the decision the club has to take".

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The 54-year-old added: "I bring experience of the Premier League".

"The fans have been behind us even in hard games and I am really grateful for your support in those situations. First and foremost, it's about coming in and giving different messages from myself and the staff".

Hughes's first game will be an FA Cup tie at Wigan Athletic on Sunday but the club's principal focus is on trying to stay in the Premier League.

"The club is confident that this appointment will allow the complete focus of the manager, players and staff to be on the remaining games of this season".

"Hughes has agreed a contract with the club until the end of the season and will take training at the club's Staplewood Campus for the first time on Thursday", Southampton said.

Hughes is the club's fifth permanent manager in the five years since Mauricio Pochettino, now Spurs manager, replaced Nigel Adkins.

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