Monday 18 February 2019

Southampton sack Pellegrino

Mauricio Pellegrino. Photo: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
Mauricio Pellegrino. Photo: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Mauricio Pellegrino last night paid the price for Southampton's alarming slump after he was axed by the south coast club.

The Argentinian was only appointed as manager last summer but the Saints hierarchy pulled the trigger with seven games remaining as they attempt to cling on to the Premier League status.

Southampton have won just one of their last 17 league matches - against bottom club West Brom - with Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Newcastle proving to be the final straw.

That latest setback left Saints languishing just one place and one point above the relegation zone. 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, 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. Assistant manager Carlos Compagnucci and assistant first-team coach Xavier Tamarit have also parted company with the club.

A Southampton statement read: "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."

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