Graphic Online 

Southampton sack manager Pellegrino

Author: BBC

Southampton have sacked manager Mauricio Pellegrino with the team just one point and one place above the Premier League relegation zone with eight games left this season.

The Saints have won just one of their past 17 league matches and lost 3-0 at Newcastle United on Saturday.

Pellegrino, 46, was appointed in June as the successor to Claude Puel.

Saints hope to have a new manager in place before facing Wigan on Sunday for a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.

They are in their sixth successive season in the Premier League and have not finished lower than 14th in any of the previous five.

Pellegrino said he "observed some players who gave up" during Saturday's game. Former England midfielder Jermaine Jenas called the performance "abysmal, shocking and borderline disgraceful" on Match of the Day.

Pellegrino, a former Argentina international, secured the equivalent of 0.93 points per game, the third-worst tally of any Southampton manager in the Premier League.

The club said in a statement they want to "appoint a new management team as soon as possible, with the search for a replacement already under way".

They are the ninth Premier League team to change their manager this season.

Assistant manager Carlos Compagnucci and assistant first-team coach Xavier Tamarit have also left the club.

"Southampton have given Pellegrino every chance to adapt, grow and learn, but they went to Newcastle and for the first time it looked like the players had chucked one in. The first time it looked like they had not played for him and they let him down.

"I think they probably should have sacked him in January after losing at Crystal Palace. It has been toxic at St Mary's for a while now but they have resisted.

"With a three-week gap before the next Premier League game, they realised this was their last chance to make a change as it did not seem they were going to get themselves out of danger as nothing was changing on the pitch."

Credit: BBC