Wednesday 12 December 2018

Southampton sack manager Mauricio Pellegrino as they hit the panic button in battle to beat the drop

Mauricio Pellegrino has left Southampton
Mauricio Pellegrino has left Southampton

Southampton have sacked manager Mauricio Pellegrino, the Premier League club have announced.

Saints were beaten 3-0 at Newcastle on Saturday and lie just one place and one point above the relegation zone.

The south coast club have made their move with just eight games left to play in this Premier League season, as they confirmed with this statement on Monday night:

"Southampton Football Club can today confirm that it has parted company with First Team Manager Mauricio Pellegrino. Assistant Manager Carlos Compagnucci and Assistant First Team Coach Xavier Tamarit have also parted company with the club.

"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 will look to appoint a new management team as soon as possible, with the search for a replacement already underway."

Former Liverpool defender Pellegrino had been under increasing pressure as the season progressed, with fans frustrated by his perceived defensive tactics and pundits accusing the players of not playing for him.

Pellegrino admitted as much himself after the Newcastle defeat, saying: "I observed some players who gave up and we cannot show this, to be honest.

"You can lose, you can play badly, but you have to show another face on the pitch.

"For this reason, I would like to say sorry to our fans because we couldn't represent our club properly. This is the worst thing that we did today."

Pellegrino, 46, arrived at St Mary's as the replacement for Claude Puel, who was sacked despite guiding them to an eighth-placed finish and the League Cup final. To rub salt in the wounds Puel is now flourishing at Leicester, who currently lie eighth.

Saints will be hoping to appoint Pellegrino's successor quickly, with an FA Cup quarter-final at Wigan looming on Sunday.

They then face a crunch clash with relegation rivals West Ham at the London Stadium on March 31.

Former Hull and Watford boss Marco Silva has been installed as the favourite for the vacancy with bookmakers.

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