Southampton fire coach Mauricio Pellegrino

Grant SmithMar 14, 2018

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: "Southampton will have to act quick to save their season and the early signs point towards a swift Prem return for Hughes".

However, last night the Southampton board finally made a stand, sacking the man who has won just five of his 30 league games in charge.

"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.

Assistant coaches Carlos Compagnucci and Xavier Tamarit have also left the club.

Although the decision to sack Pellegrino might've already been set in stone prior to the Newcastle defeat, the spineless performance was the proverbial nail in the coffin, prompting the decision to be officially announced.

Pellegrino was appointed at St Mary's at the start of the season, taking over from Claude Puel after impressing with Alaves in LaLiga.

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

Pellegrino did lead Southampton into the FA Cup quarter-finals, where they will play third-tier Wigan Athletic on Sunday, but the priority for whoever takes over for the rest of the season will be to preserve their top-flight status.

With Palace and West Ham on awful runs of form they are right in amongst it as well, maybe the Hammers now having the look of a club who unexpectedly collapses at the end of a season.

As the paper points out "given the club's perilous position they will struggle to attract a leading manager", increasing the likelihood that the Saints will go marching into the Championship at the end of the season.

Sinisa Mihajlovic has reportedly been contacted for the Southampton job, but Mark Hughes remains the favourite after Mauricio Pellegrino's dismissal.

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