Southampton have officially appointed Mark Hughes as their new manager.
Southampton have officially appointed Mark Hughes as their new manager, replacing Mauricio Pellegrino following his dismissal after a dreadful run of form has left the Saints fighting against a Premier League relegation battle.
It marks a return to the south coast for Hughes after he spent two seasons with the club towards the end of his playing career between 1998 and 2000, making 52 Premier League appearances.
Speaking to the club website, Mark Hughes stated:
“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.
"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 actually began his coaching career while he was still playing for Southampton, taking charge of the Wales national team on what was initially an interim basis in 1999.
He finally hung up his boots in 2002 after spells with Everton and Blackburn and came close to leading Wales to Euro 2004. He later took his first job in club management when he was hired by Blackburn, spending four years at Ewood Park before jumping to Manchester City.
Hughes enjoyed a successful but short reign at Fulham and later joined QPR.
In his time as Stoke manager, he guided the club to three ninth-place finishes.