Mark Hughes appointed Southampton's new manager on deal to end of season

Mark Hughes appointed Southampton's new manager on deal to end of season

Hughes, 54, has succeeded Mauricio Pellegrino, with Saints one point and one place above the relegation zone.

In 445 games at five clubs spanning 14 years Hughes has never experienced relegation from the Premier League - a record he'll be gunning to preserve as he takes up his seventh spell in the managerial arena.

New Southampton manager Mark Hughes is keen to start working with the Saints squad he has inherited from dismissed predecessor Mauricio Pellegrino after claiming that he has actually tried to sign around "half" of them in the past for other clubs. "We'll get down to the reasons why, but these players have the ability to win games in the Premier League and that's what we intend to do", he said.

"The objective clearly is to remain in the league and make sure we're a Premier League club next year".

Hughes has taken charge of almost 450 top-flight matches in his managerial career, with spells at at Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Fulham, Queens Park Rangers and, most recently, Stoke City under his belt.

Ex-Manchester United striker Hughes played for Saints between 1998 and 2000, making 52 appearances in the Premier League.

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Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki, both of whom have worked under Hughes at a number of clubs, have been named assistant manager and assistant first-team coach respectively.

Hughes takes training today for the first time on the South coast.

Asked about his relationship with his former boss, Barton said: "I don't think it's fit for air on radio, but I'm very surprised".

The Welshman has eight games to save the Saints from relegation, with the club now sitting one point above the bottom-three. "But it's about coming in and being that different voice that will enable the players to recognise and focus on what needs to be done".

Stoke were in the drop zone when he was sacked after an FA Cup third-round defeat by League Two (fourth tier) Coventry City in January.

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