Mark Hughes Appointed Saints Manager Official ! Wednesday, 14th Mar 2018 22:59
At 22.34pm on Wednesday evening Soutampton FC confirmed the new manager of the club as Mark Hughes, it was the worst kept secret of the previous 10 hours.
Saints issued their press statement late on Wednesday evening although the media had been calling it since lunchtime, so why it took so long is anyone's guesss.
The statement read.
CLUB STATEMENT Wednesday 14th March 2018
Southampton Football Club can today confirm it has appointed Mark Hughes as its new First Team Manager.
Hughes has agreed a contract with the club until the end of the season and will take training at the club’s Staplewood Campus for the first time on Thursday.
The 54-year-old will bring extensive experience of the Premier League, having managed at Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Fulham, Queens Park Rangers and most recently Stoke City, taking charge of almost 450 top-flight matches and achieving eight top-ten finishes in his career to date.
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 as a player, will be joined at St Mary’s by Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki. They will take 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.
Mark Hughes said: “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 appointment has provoked a mixed reaction amongst Saints supporters, but most agree that at this stage of the season something had to be done and that the club was in no position to take their time in choosing.
So Hughes job will be to get the squad all kicking in the same direction and instilling a winning mentality, Saints supporters now need to get behind him and the team and help him achieve his targets.
Yes there may still be some who bang on about Les Reed etc, but now is not the time to do that, now is the time to get behind the club and help Hughes and his team emulate the Great Escape season that Hughes took part in in 1998/99.
Whilst Hughes might not be the glamour appointment some may crave his record at Stoke in motivating and managing a squad to some top half finishes over a period of tie actaually makes him a better candidate than most other names mentioned.
In his first three seasons at Stoke le lead them to 9th in the table and last season a respectable 13th only two points behind Saints. So Hughes record up to this season has been as good as most in the Premier league outsideof the big clubs and Saints.
I’ve said my piece on Mark Hughes, so on a more optimistic note I reckon he’ll see this as his best ever chance of managing at a cup final, and hopefully he’ll be equally keen to prove a point to Stoke in the league. The 2 million quid will help too.
A lot of fans have been sniffy about Hughes, but this is the reality of where we are at the moment. He's not a ideal appointment but we're not an attractive proposition at the moment. He's done a decent job at most places, and shouldn't be judged on Stoke this season as that's become a very tough place to manage. At the very least Hughes will inject some fight into the team, which has been sorely lacking all season.
Very disappointed but have to get behind him and give him a chance. Hope the players will get a lift from someone different - the squad we have should be top half - they also need to show us what they are made of!
If he can motivate the players to perform this weekend and take three points off wetspam I, for one, will be feeling a lot more optimistic about avoiding the relegation scramble. As has been said by many there is absolutely no point in doing anything other than give the manager and team 100% support till the end of the season. All the best Sparky.
Nothing more to be said on the appointment of Hughes. It's done so we will just have to live with it.
All that can be hoped is that the owners have had a wake up call. It matters not which league we kick off in next season as clearly for a large number of fans there now appears to be no way forward for S F C with Reed and Kruger still in position. Reed for his two manager appointments prior to Hughes and Kruger for his ridiculous comments that we are a small club.
Saints have already done the left-field trendy take a chance on some overseas coaches bit and that has got us to this point. I'm fed up with seeing lesser players doing better than ours because they have more fight and desire to win, while we pussy foot around.
I welcome Sparky as the best solution to our current situation, I hope he puts the spirit back into the team and gets us fighting for points again. There's probably someone better available out there who might accept the post, but I've no idea who and I don't want us to make any more risky appointments. He's an ex-saint with bags of experience and a point to prove. Ok, it might not work but I think he's the best bet right now.
Not the first choice for most of us I suspect but I do get it: When you are going down the plug-hole its probably better to call a decent jobbing plumber than a hydrological surveyor, if less inspiring. Lets hope he's brought a full set of wrenches and can get a grip on the problem quickly!
I think Hughes is a better manager than a lot give him credit for. He's had 8 top ten finishes in the Premiership, got Blackburn and Fulham into Europe and got to the Europa League quarter finals with City. Coming from Stoke he'll be taking training today thinking 'bloody hell I've got some good players here!' He'll keep us up.
Love the fact that some people are already whinging about Hughes. Especially the ones who then go on to say "...but now we've got to get right behind him". Well, it's pretty fecking obvious from your post that you're not right behind him. If you've not got anything positive to say, why not just say nothing?
Happy to have anyone but MP and under the circumstances Hughes is the best choice. But if he's being brought in to motivate the players, why announce it's only until the end of the season. It undermines his power as the players know he could be replaced in 8-10 games.
I agree with 58 that it seems rather pointless moaning. A bit early for 'Hughes Out' even for the extreme angry brigade. A short-term appointment of a highly experienced manager and a large stay-up bonus are about as much as we could hope for. Pep was never going to come once he got through to the Euro quarters.
We may well still go down - and I wish it was league vs Wet Spam this w/e rather than cup vs Wigan - but at least 3 wins now seems unlikely rather than totally impossible!!
Whereas it's easy to blame the manager for a poor season.. the balance of the responsibility rests with the players, (and you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear).
Getting sacked from Stoke, doesn't take account of the fact that Hughes's Stoke sides finished top half in the previous 3 seasons, and in fact he has managed 4 Prem. sides in the last 10 seasons and only finished below halfway on two occasions.
That is some degree of success /achievement when you consider that a number of other "experienced Prem.managers" have failed to match that degree of consistancy.
We can all come back at the end of May and comment on the final games, but given the short time available I'm sure we'll feel better about him if we finish 17th - or better.
To be honest I could hardly be more underwhelmed by the appointment, but as far as I’m concerned everyone comes in to start afresh and he deserves the support of the fans. I hope he can drum into the players what is expected/required of them and shake things up a bit. They need to restore a lot of lost pride in wearing the shirt and give the people who give them their chance to earn millions of pounds doing a job they love something to be happy about.
Good first interview by Hughes - calm, cool & collected. I love the fact that he said he probably tried to sign half of our players during their careers. That is a confidence BOOST for ALL our players.