Southampton appoint former player as new manager

2018-03-14 23:50:41

Southampton have appointed Mark Hughes as their new manager.

Hughes, who played for Southampton between 1998 to 2000, replaces Mauricio Pellegrino with the south coast side a point above the relegation zone.

He has agreed a contract with the club until the end of the season and will take training at their Staplewood Campus for the first time on Thursday as they prepare for an FA Cup quarter-final at League One Wigan.

The Welshman has been out of work since he was sacked by fellow Premier League strugglers Stoke in January.

But Hughes, 54, who has eight league games to save Southampton from relegation, said he felt he had the right experience to guide his new club away from danger.

Hughes said: "It's a challenge I'm excited by. It's a great opportunity to come back to a club I know well, and a club I've got real affinity with, and I couldn't turn that down.

"I bring experience of the Premier League. I understand what it takes in this league to win games.

"But first and foremost I think it's about coming in and maybe being that different voice, that different message from myself and the staff, that will enable the players to recognise and focus on what needs to be done in this key period of the season.

"The objective clearly is to remain in the league and make sure we're a Premier League club next year. That's where this club needs to be, that's where it should be, and that's our intention to make sure it remains there."

Hughes will be joined at St Mary's by trusted lieutenants Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki in the roles of assistant manager and assistant first team coach respectively alongside existing first team assistant coach Kelvin Davis, head of goalkeeping Dave Watson and head of sports science Alek Gross.

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