Southampton have parted company with Mark Hughes after eight months in charge. Who will take over from the Welshman?Read the full story ›
Southampton have parted company with manager Mark Hughes.
The Premier League strugglers announced on Monday that the 55-year-old Welshman had left the club after winning just one of their 14 league matches so far this season.
"We would like to express our thanks to Mark and his staff for all of their efforts during their time at St Mary's," a statement read.
"The search for a new manager to take the club forward is already under way.
"First team assistant coach Kelvin Davis will lead the team for Wednesday's Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley."
Hughes took over at St Mary's last March and guided them to Premier League survival and an FA Cup semi-final but was unable to inspire a better campaign this time around.
The Saints currently reside in the bottom three after 14 games, of which they have won only one and lost seven.
Hughes, who played for the club in the late 1990s, leaves the club following Saturday's 2-2 draw with Manchester United.
They were leading that game 2-0 and that is symptomatic of some of their problems as during Hughes' tenure they dropped 20 points from winning positions, while the 12 goals scored in 14 games has also been an obvious hindrance.
Davis, who played over 300 times for the club, will lead them into a difficult encounter at Wembley on Wednesday as they face Tottenham in the Premier League.
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Mark Hughes insists he has no concerns about his future as Southampton manager following the sacking of vice-chairman Les Reed.
Struggling Saints have wielded the axe on Reed and technical director Martin Hunter in a bid to re-energise their ailing fortunes.
After narrowly avoiding Premier League relegation last term, the south coast club are doing little better this season and sit 16th in the table having mustered just seven points from 11 matches.
Saints boss Hughes, appointed in March, feels the boardroom departures will not adversely affect his own position.
"In the summer, I was offered a three-year contract. Clearly Les would have had an impact in that decision but not totally," said Hughes at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's clash with Watford.
"All the board and the ownership itself made that decision to offer me that contract so, although Les is no longer around as a sounding board and as a supportive guy in the background, there's still a lot of people here that felt I was the right man for the job.
"I don't think my position has been diminished too much in that regard."
Mark Hughes has been rewarded for keeping Southampton in the Premier League with a new three-year deal.
The former Wales, Manchester City and Stoke boss was tasked with keeping the Saints in the top flight when he took charge in March.
He did just that and will now stay at St Mary's - along with assistants Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki - until the summer of 2021.
"Mark, Eddie and I are thrilled to have signed long-term contracts with the club. It was the only option we considered, having spent the last eight weeks with the club," Hughes said.
"Now it is vital that we take the unbelievable support we received from the fans during the last few games into next season.
"The staff and the players will work hard every day to deliver the success this club deserves, and with everyone pulling together we will achieve our goals."
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Mark Hughes is set to be appointed manager of relegation-threatened Southampton, Press Association Sport understands.
Saints sacked Mauricio Pellegrino on Monday with the side languishing 17th in the Premier League after an embarrassing 3-0 loss at fellow strugglers Newcastle.
The club have acted swiftly to get in a new manager before Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final at Wigan, with ex-Stoke boss and former Saints player Hughes set to be appointed.
Press Association Sport understands the club is hoping to announce the Welshman on Wednesday, with an initial deal until the end of the season likely.
Austrian right-back Moritz Bauer has completed a transfer to managerless Stoke having been a target of recently-axed boss Mark Hughes.
The Potters have made Bauer, 25, their first signing of the window for an undisclosed fee after reaching an agreement with Russian club Rubin Kazan.
Bauer agreed personal terms on a four-and-a-half-year deal last week, when he also underwent a medical, and his deal has been completed despite the fact Hughes was axed on Saturday night following an FA Cup loss to League Two Coventry.
"Moritz is a player we have been trailing for some time and was someone Mark Hughes wanted to bring into the club," chief executive Tony Scholes said on the club's website.
"Moritz came over to England last week to undergo his medical and discuss terms and we have now been able to conclude his transfer.
"He's a very highly-regarded player who broke into the Austrian senior side last year and he adds to the defensive resources at our disposal."
Stoke, who hope to have a boss in place before their next fixture on Monday night against Manchester United, are in the top-flight's relegation zone and have conceded a league-high 47 goals in 22 games.