Mark Hughes out as Southamp­ton man­ager

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

SOUTHAMP­TON fired man­ager Mark Hughes on Mon­day with the club in the Premier League’s rel­e­ga­tion zone af­ter only one win in 14 matches this sea­son. Hughes spent less than nine months in charge of the team, with his fi­nal game be­ing the 2-2 draw against Manch­ester United on Satur­day in which Southamp­ton squan­dered a two-goal lead.

That left Southamp­ton in third-to­last place in the stand­ings with more than a third of the sea­son gone and in some­thing of a cri­sis, hav­ing also parted com­pany with vice chair­man Les Reed and tech­ni­cal direc­tor Martin Hunter last month as part of a re­struc­tur­ing.

As­sis­tant coach Kelvin Davis will take charge of Southamp­ton’s game against Tot­ten­ham on Wed­nes­day.

Hughes was hired in March with Southamp­ton one place above the rel­e­ga­tion zone. He man­aged to pre­serve Southamp­ton’s top-flight sta­tus but the team has won only five of 27 games in all com­pe­ti­tions un­der Hughes.

Southamp­ton, which has been in the Premier League since 2012, is pay­ing the price for hav­ing its squad slowly dis­man­tled by the coun­try’s rich­est clubs each off­sea­son.

The club’s en­vied academy sys­tem — which brought through play­ers like Gareth Bale, Theo Wal­cott, Alex Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain and Luke Shaw — and scout­ing strat­egy meant Southamp­ton has been one of English soc­cer’s suc­cess sto­ries in re­cent years.

But there has been a sad re­gres­sion be­cause it hasn’t been able to keep hold of its best play­ers.

Vir­gil van Dijk, Toby Alder­weireld, De­jan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne, Vic­tor Wanyama, Sa­dio Mane, Adam Lal­lana and Shaw are among the play­ers who have been sold since 2014.

Southamp­ton has at­tempted to re­place the play­ers the club sold for big money with cheaper ones from across Europe and be­yond, but it is a re­cruit­ment strat­egy that might have fi­nally caught up with them.

Southamp­ton was the sixth Premier League club that Hughes has coached. In Jan­uary, he was fired by Stoke, which ended up get­ting rel­e­gated. – As­so­ci­ated Press

Photo: AP

Southamp­ton’s man­ager Mark Hughes gives in­struc­tions from the side line dur­ing the English Premier League soc­cer match be­tween Southamp­ton and Manch­ester United at St Mary’s sta­dium in Southamp­ton, Eng­land on Satur­day.

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