Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Mauricio Pellegrino apologises for leaving Southampton in relegation battle after being sacked

Mauricio Pellegrino apologises for leaving Southampton in relegation battle after being sacked

Pellegrino was sacked last night after the Saints dropped to one point above the relegation zone and won only one of their last 17 Premier League games.

The Argentine coach was only appointed last summer but has overseen a disappointing campaign with the Saints now just one point outside the relegation zone.

In a change from recent appointments, and with eight games remaining to ensure they are not relegated, Southampton are working to a different criteria than in the recent appointments of Mauricio Pochettino, Ronald Koeman, Claude Puel and Manuel Pellegrino.

Southampton are hoping to announce their new manager before they visit third-tier Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday with their next league game not until March 31 when they travel to West Ham.

Mark Hughes is the current odds-on bookmakers' favourite, while former Watford and Hull City boss Marco Silva is also said to be in the hunt.

They had won once in 17 games, with eight matches left this season.

So, who are the frontrunners to take over Southampton? He has taken charge of nearly 450 Premier League games and has never been relegated.

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Southampton, who are the ninth Premier League club to change manager this term, are in their sixth straight season in the top flight and have not finished lower than 14th in that time.

The Premier League club took the decision to fire him, after the Saints lost 3-0 at Newcastle on Saturday.

In a statement, Pellegrino said: "From the beginning I tried to do my best every single day".

"Some moments we managed this, some moments we couldn't, but we have been living a hard season for many reasons".

"The manager is the face of a lot of decisions and actions, but I always tried to put the club first with my technical staff and the board behind me", Pellegrino added.

Hughes played for Saints between 1998 and 2000, making 54 appearances in the Premier League.

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