Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Southampton begin search for new manager after sacking Mauricio Pellegrino

Southampton begin search for new manager after sacking Mauricio Pellegrino

Pellegrino, a former Argentina worldwide, secured the equivalent of 0.93 points per game, the third-worst tally of any Southampton manager in the Premier League.

Mark Hughes is the leading candidate for the vacant managerial position after Southampton prioritised the need for Premier League experience and an immediate ability to galvanise their flagging squad. Hovering just one spot above the relegation zone Southampton are in danger of losing the top-flight status they acquired six seasons ago.

The final straw for the Saints board was the spineless 3-0 defeat at Newcastle United on Saturday when Pellegrino accused some of his players of giving up.

Like Hughes, Silva was sacked by a Premier League club in January - in his case Watford - and he has also been linked with a move back home to Portugal to take over at Benfica next season.

"As far as the situation we are in at the moment, I think it makes sense to go with someone who has Premier League experience - who doesn't have to get to know a new set of players".

Saints hope to have a new manager in place before facing Wigan on Sunday for a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.

So they hired Pellegrino, and nine months on they must be regretting their decision.

The Argentine was unable to add more attacking flair to a team that struggled for goals toward the end of last season under Claude Puel, and fans have recently been calling for Southampton to play two strikers up front to be more of a threat.

Southampton were among the clubs credited with interest in Silva last summer, after the 40-year-old narrowly failed to keep Hull City in the Premier League.

"We would like to place on record our thanks to Mauricio, Carlos and Xavier for their efforts during their time with Southampton, and wish them well for the future", the club said in a brief statement.

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