SOUTHAMPTON have fired manager Mauricio Pellegrino in a bid to prevent a slided out of the English Premier League.
The south-coast club took action two days after losing 3-0 at Newcastle, following which Pellegrino said some of his players “gave up.” Southampton are in 17th place, a point and a place above the relegation zone. “The club will look to appoint a new management team as soon as possible, with the search for a replacement already under way,” a Southampton statement read. The 46-year-old Pellegrino joined on a three-year deal in June last year, weeks after leaving Spanish team Alaves.
The Argentine was unable to add more attacking flair to a team that struggled for goals toward the end of last season under Claude Puel, and fans have recently been calling for Southampton to play two strikers up front to be more of a threat.
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They have scored 29 goals in 30 games, winning only five of them – and have just one win in their past 17 league games.
In January, the Saints sold Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool for PS75 million ($A132.5 million) – making him the most expensive defender in world soccer.
The defeat at Newcastle was one of the low points of the season for the Saints, with Pellegrino saying after the game: “I haven’t seen my team compete in this way this season, without the spirit you need to compete at this level.” Assistant manager Carlos Compagnucci and assistant first-team coach Xavier Tamarit have also left 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 Southampton statement added.
Southampton visit third-tier Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday but their next league game is March 31 at relegation rivals West Ham United.
PREMIER LEAGUE SACK RACE
1) Frank de Boer, 11/9/16, Crystal Palace
2) Craig Shakespeare, 17/10, Leicester City
3) Ronald Koeman, 23/10, Everton
4) Slaven Bilic, 6/11, West Ham
5) Tony Pulis, 20/11, West Bromwich Albion
6) Paul Clement, 20/12, Swansea City
7) Mark Hughes, 6/1, Stoke City
8) Marco Silva, 21/1, Watford
9) Mauricio Pellegrino, 12/3, Southampton
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