Southampton, one of the struggling Premier League teams have recently appointed Mark Hughes as their new team manager, after having sacked Mauricio Pellegrino. They made a formal announcement in this regard on Wednesday, March 14. The sacking of Pellegrino was an inevitable decision and happened on Monday, March 12, after his losing run involving just 1 victory in 17 matches, leaving the side with only 1 point, and just 1 place over the relegation zone, as they prepare themselves for the remaining 8 games of the season.
Plenty of experience under the belt
The Southampton football club, in a statement to the media said, “Southampton Football Club can today confirm it has appointed Mark Hughes as its new First Team Manager. Hughes has agreed a contract with the club until the end of the season and will take training at the club’s Staplewood Campus for the first time on Thursday.”
Hughes has many years of top-flight coaching experience at reputed clubs including QPR, Fulham, Manchester city and Blackburn. He was recently sacked by the Stoke City football club, in January, after having been in charge of the team for four and a half seasons.
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Mark Hughes in fact served for two seasons as a player at Southampton towards the end of his football career, so he does have an idea about how it operates. He also used to play for Wales, Chelsea and Manchester United at one point of time. The move has apparently cost Saints a whopping £2 million!
Talking to the press, 54-year old Hughes said, “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. 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.”
He emphasised that the first and foremost difference he would bring to the side is by perhaps becoming that different voice, providing a different message that would possibly help players recognise and pay attention to whatever must be done during this crucial phase of the Premier League season.
Hughes’s first match as the manager of the team will be in the FA Cup quarter-final against Wigan on Sunday, March 18. This one’s the ninth managerial change of the English Premier League during the ongoing season, and Mark Hughes joins Southampton as their third manager since June last year.