Southampton appoint Mark Hughes as their new manager

Relegation-threatened Southampton have appointed former player Mark Hughes as their new manager.

The Welshman has been brought in to try to save Saints from the drop after Mauricio Pellegrino was sacked on Monday with the club 17th in the Premier League.

He has agreed a contract with the club until the end of the season and will take training at their Staplewood Campus for the first time on Thursday as they prepare for an FA Cup quarter-final at League One Wigan.

A club statement said: "The club is confident that this appointment will allow the complete focus of the manager, players and staff to be on the remaining games of this season."

Hughes, who made 60 appearances for the club, is confident he can make an immediate impact.

"It's a challenge I'm excited by. It's a great opportunity to come back to a club I know well, and a club I've got real affinity with, and I couldn't turn that down," he said.

"I bring experience of the Premier League. I understand what it takes in this league to win games.

"But first and foremost I think it's about coming in and maybe being that different voice, that different message from myself and the staff, that will enable the players to recognise and focus on what needs to be done in this key period of the season.

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

"That's where this club needs to be, that's where it should be, and that's our intention to make sure it remains there."

Hughes will be joined at St Mary's by trusted lieutenants Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki in the roles of assistant manager and assistant first team coach respectively alongside existing first team assistant coach Kelvin Davis, head of goalkeeping Dave Watson and head of sports science Alek Gross.

- PA

Most Read in Sport