Mark Hughes has been sacked by Southampton after just one win in their opening 14 games of the Premier League season.The Saints have slipped into the relegation zone and dropped a two-goal lead against Manchester United on Saturday.
Assistant manager Mark Bowen and assistant coach Eddie Niedzwiecki have also left.First team coach Kelvin Davis will take charge of Wednesday’s game against Tottenham, while Ralph Hasenhuttel has already emerged as the favourite for the permanent role.
The 51-year-old Austrian is highly regarded for the work he did at Red Bull Leipzig and is ready to fulfil his ambition to coach in the Premier League.
Southampton, who confirmed Hughes’s departure on Monday morning, are understood to have held initial discussions with Paulo Sousa and Quique Sanchez Flores also but hope to finalise the new appointment before their game against Cardiff City.
Hasenhuttl has been linked with roles at Arsenal and Brentford in the past and is free after stepping down at Leipzig in May. His preferred style is similar to that of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool with an energetic, high press. ‘[Klopp and I] did our coaching badges together and we know each other very well,’ Hasenhüttl told bundesliga.com.
‘I think we appreciate a similar philosophy on football – we want to play a high tempo game, we want our guys to sprint around, press well and these are elements which make the game livelier and varied and get people excited.‘I don’t know, at times I run a bit too far onto the pitch,’ concluded the 50-year-old with a smile. ‘But that’s only in exceptional circumstances, and Jurgen does it too when a goal is scored!’