Hughes sacked as Southamp­ton man­ager

The Phnom Penh Post - - SPORT -

MARK Hughes has been sacked as man­ager of Southamp­ton af­ter just eight months in charge, the strug­gling Pre­mier League club an­nounced on Mon­day, de­spite an im­proved per­for­mance in a 2-2 draw with Manch­ester United.

The Welsh­man, 55, took over at St Mary’s in March and guided them to Pre­mier League sur­vival as well as an FA Cup semi­fi­nal but was un­able to in­spire a bet­ter cam­paign this sea­son.

For­mer RB Leipzig boss Ralph Hasen­huettl is re­port­edly the front-run­ner to re­place Hughes – the new boss will be Southamp­ton’s fourth per­ma­nent man­ager in 18 months.

“We would like to ex­press our thanks to Mark and his staff for all of their ef­forts dur­ing their time at St Mary’s,” the club said in a state­ment.

“The search for a new man­ager to take the club for­ward is al­ready un­der way.

“First team as­sis­tant coach Kelvin Davis will lead the team f or Wed­nes­day’s Pre­mier League game against Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur at Wem­b­ley.”

As­sis­tant first team man­ager Mark Bowen and as­sis­tant first team coach Eddie Niedzwiecki have also left the club.

Southamp­ton, who were 2-0 up against Jose Mourinho’s United at home on Satur­day at one stage, are 18th in the Pre­mier League, just one point ahead of bot­tom club Ful­ham.

They have won just one of their 14 Pre­mier League matches this sea­son un­der Hughes, suf­fer­ing seven de­feats.

The for­mer Manch­ester United, Barcelona and Chelsea for­ward signed for Southamp­ton as a player to­wards the end of an il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer.

Dur­ing his sub­se­quent coach­ing ca­reer he has man­aged Wales as well as Black­burn, Manch­ester City and Stoke.

Asked if be­ing given con­trol only up un­til Wed­nes­day’s Tot­ten­ham trip sug­gests a per­ma­nent ap­point­ment will hap­pen be­fore the week­end, Davis said: “To me it does in­di­cate that.

“But whether that hap­pens or not will be up to the guys up­stairs. I’m tak­ing the team up un­til Wed­nes­day and we’ll see af­ter that.”

The for­mer Saints goal­keeper re­vealed his pride at tak­ing tem­po­rary charge of the club but said he would not look beyond Wed­nes­day’s match.

“The op­por­tu­nity I’ve got now is to take the lads for a cou­ple of days’ train­ing and to pre­pare for the Tot­ten­ham game,” said Davis. “Af­ter that is af­ter that. I don’t think it would be wise to even con­sider any­thing af­ter that.”

GLYN KIRK/AFP

Mark Hughes re­acts dur­ing the match be­tween Southamp­ton and Manch­ester United at St Mary’s Sta­dium on Satur­day.

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