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Saints Fans Rally Round Mark Hughes
Friday, 16th Mar 2018 08:07

Although the initial fans thoughts on a new manager were not positive towards Mark Hughes, since his appointment the supporters are rallying to the cause.

It is fair to say that many Saints fans were not enamoured with the thought of Mark Hughes as manager of Saints, the perception of him as a manager was not a positive one and the perception was that his sacking at Stoke came from the fact that he had spent most of his time with them fighting relegation.

That perception however is wrong, although this season Stoke like Saints had struggled, the fact was that in his previous four seasons at the club his achievements there were not that far different than Saints themselves.

In hs first three seasons he led them to 9th in each year and last year he finished 13th, but when you consider that Stoke were only 2 points behind Saints in 8th he might well have got a top ten finish four times in a row.

He managed that with far less resources that the managers at St Mary's in that time had to their disposal and he seemed good at taking a squad that should have perhaps been in the lower haplf of the table and moulding it into a good solid unit.

So although Saints supporters were initially not that excited about the thought of Hughes arriving at the club, they are now warming to the idea and realising that although a more glamorous appontment might have been preferred, that in our current predicament, Hughes perhaps fits the bill far better than other candidates in that he knows the division very well, he knows the teams he knows the players and perhaps more importantly he knows our players.

He has the track record in the Premier League, he knows what is needed to be done and how to do it.

Some would have preferred a more glamorous name such as Marco Silva, but he has not had much experience in the Premier League, he failed to eep Hull up last season and this although he initially started well at Watford they petered out and there have been issues surrounding his character after the Everton debacle that ultimately led to Watford sacking him.

Hughes spent just under two seasons with Saints at the tail end of his career as a player, it wasn't his best, but heplayed a key part in what became known as the Great Escape, Saints 3-1 down on the hour mark at home against fellow relegation strugglers Blackburn and on the back foot were brought back in the game with a goal from Hughes that not only sparked a recovery to gain a 3-3 draw in this game, but go on in the final few games to win three and draw one of the last four games and complete what looked like an unlikely save from relegation.

Hopefully this is a good omen for this season and three wins and a draw would certainly be enough to keep Saints up in the final eight games.

So Saints fans see in Mark Hughes a figurehead who they can rally round and feel comfortable with, they feel that although ultimately he has little time to turn things round, here is a man who will put his all into the job and will not be swayed from the task in hand, he was a legend as a player and has had a good solid career as a manager and good and solid is what we need now.

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petedoors1 added 08:38 - Mar 16
Anyone is better than Mauricio Pellegrino. The only fault was why it took so long to get rid of him but if Mark Hughes saves us from relegation he will become a true SAINT.

KriSaint added 09:02 - Mar 16
Let´s check the stats and see how bad they are.
Hughes was pretty successful in Blackburn for 4 seasons from 2005-2009 with 4 top ten positions, qualification for Europe, 2 FA cup semis and 1 league cup semi - then burned his hands in his second season at Man. City as a rather young manager but still - during his City time - he guided City to the Europe League quarter finals and league cup semis (he was sacked before the semis). Then guided Fulham to their second best league position before his less positive time at QPR. Then 9th x 3 at Stoke and 13th. with limited ressources. > 400 PL gamed as manager.
These are the stats and they look pretty decent to me, though I know he has used a significant amountt of money. Robinho (City) was one of his biggest flops. At least he is not scared of buying expensive players.

andywelsh added 09:31 - Mar 16
Spot on Krisaint. Although not a glamorous appointment Hughes has had impressive success at several clubs in the Premier League. At this point he is the man we need. As far as I am concerned if he keeps us up and wins the FA Cup he is welcome to stay!!

highfield49 added 09:34 - Mar 16
I'm hoping that his first training session session started with "anyone not up for the fight get in your car and go home now" or words to that effect.

AirFlorida added 09:50 - Mar 16
That's two days in the job now and what's he done? Nothing. We're still a point off relegation. He's got to go 😀

A_Saint_in_Stoke added 10:15 - Mar 16
A good summing up, some of which I covered in my last 2 posts - as I felt it necessary to give Saints fans, an indication of what work that MH did with what I feel is an inferior squad here in Stoke and also with a smaller budget.
My last 2 posts -
What a Saint fan - who has seen what Mark Hughes has done for Stoke feels!
Now PLEASE get behind him ..... we need your 110% support.


Veg added 10:24 - Mar 16
I must say I agree. The saints players have more quality then the potters and end experienceed manager can bring more results from them. Ancheloty could have been more interesting though....

halftimeorange added 10:28 - Mar 16
We have to back him even though he's lacking in charisma. He took no prisoners when at the height of his playing career. I won't blame him if he can't turn things round because, as we all know, his appointment is clutching at straws and should have been effected at Christmas. To turn a team so low on confidence and used to playing defensively into an overnight goal machine is a big ask. Welsh Wizard he might have been but Miracle Worker - I'm not so sure. Good luck, Mark!

landsdownsaint added 11:13 - Mar 16
Tbh I don’t mind now if we go down because I think the damage has been done , what I’d like to see is a bit of fight about the team , I like Highfied49 post , I doubt if he said that on day 1, bet he did day 2 of training ... Bertrand Tadic Soares & I hope he puts Yoshida in with Stephens .

SonicBoom added 11:46 - Mar 16
Well I'm not sure that Saints fans see him as a figurehead they can rally around. Where did you get that from? Most think he can't be as bad as Pellegrino, or that we have no choice but to get behind him now at this late stage.
I must say, it was nice to hear his interview and for the first time in years I didn't have to concentrate to understand what a Saints manager was saying.

A1079 added 11:59 - Mar 16
Stats and history are just that. It is what he does now that counts.

He would not have been my choice, and I have never particularly liked the guy (though obviously I only ever see what I see on the media) and I didn't particularly rate him, but it is not a matter of rallying around him, it is about supporting the team. Whether I like him or not is irrelevant, I want him to do well, as I wanted the previous managers to do well, because it they are successful, then the team and the club are. It is as simple as that really.

Like Sonic though, it is nice to hear someone speak that you can understand for a change.

bstokesaint added 12:15 - Mar 16
I wish Sparky all the best and his long term stats are genuinely pretty good. However, my main concern, as Sky Sports highlighted the other day, is that he has a pretty abysmal record over his first few games at any club. That might not be such an issue had he come in in August, but given that we pretty much HAVE to win our next league game that is a worry. I really hope is able to find the winning formula with a first XI as soon as possible and then he sticks to it, making fringe players fight for their places and dropping underperformers. We need consistency and we need goals. Unlike Stoke this current team is unlikely to present much of a threat from set pieces.

ItchenNorth added 13:36 - Mar 16
Lets face it: we are not in a position (this season or any season tbh) to poach current top and successful managers. The market / pool is full of failed managers by definition! Stoke being in the bottom three means almost nothing. Gordon Strachan is the perfect example to Saints fans to recall: a failed manager in that he got Coventry relegated. That summer we signed him as our manager and we went forward into a few relatively successful seasons including the FA Cup final in 2003.
For me Mark Hughes is a good / sensible appointment. He has passion, so will kick players backsides if they are not performing. He knows the league. He knows our players. And, if we don't stay up: id think he would be ideal for getting us back. With that in mind, the only disappointment was that his contract was for 8 games. We should have given him a 14 month contract so that his commitment could not be questioned: if results don't turn around in the next few weeks.

ItalianSaint added 14:16 - Mar 16
Well @ItchenNorth, I read he has £2m of reasons to commit

KriSaint added 14:53 - Mar 16
I assume that we drop our ineffective 4-2-3-1 formation.

Being a desperado because of our league position and Austin injury, I want something to change heavily, and I want it instantly tried out vs Wigan.
I think we have the players to play 4-3-3.

A physical strong 3-man midfield with two in the no. 6 position (Romeu & Hojbjerg) and one in the no, 8 position (box-to-box), namely Lemina.

Left Wing: Sims. Great player. Speed. Urgency. Good right food from distance. Can feed off Carrillo flick-ons and one-two´s. Can play through balls and receive through balls himself.

Center Forward: Carrillo. He would donate a testicle if it allowed him to score his first goal. (Remember it took Henry nine if not ten games to score hs first for Arsenal).
He has undoubted skills as target man. He made WBA´s Hegazi cry 2 times during our last meeting. I agree that his transfer fee was ridiculous, but NOT his fault.

Right Wing: Gabbiadini. Much more intelligent and versatile player than we have been allowed to see. Great left foot. He is fully familiar with this position from his career in Italy, where he scored several goals as winger.

And then the defense:
Shoot bullets through me, but I vote for dropping Cedric (too small, often out-headed/muscled by players double the dwarf´s size in 1-on-1 duels, awefull end product = no assists and no goals. JWP can easily play right back - it´s not rocket science for Christ´s sake. We need his delivery. Perhaps if he plays from a deeper position he wil play the ball forward and not sideways and backways so much. A ball playing right back with dead ball skills and good engine and 5-10 centimeters taller than Cedric.
Berty left back, Stephens & Hoedt in the middle.

goodbye Redmond (bench),
goodbye Tadic (not even on my bench - bring Hesketh in) and
GOODBYE Cedric (not even on my bench, bring Pied in).

Your thoughts? Bullets? ;)

BoondockSaint added 15:27 - Mar 16
If we couldn't sign the star managers last year, there was no way we were going to sign them facing relegation (I can just imagine them all talking to friends and pointing at Pellegrino saying, "..and that's why I didn't take the Southampton job last year. No help from the board and you get the blame!"

It's a No Lose situation for Hughes because if he keeps us up, he's a hero (with a nice bonus), and if we go down, he can say "There was too little time, they should have brought me in months ago, or hired me in the first place to replace Puel." So his reputation is not going to be damaged.

Anyway, best of luck to him! Hope his first training session goes something like this:

"McCarthy, Sims, Gabbiadini, you are on the team, the rest of you, including Under-21's, every spot is open. whoever wants it the most, gets it. The team is looking at relegation because of your lack of fight, so now you are going to have to fight for your job. And if I see any of you happy after a loss, like you were after the Scouse game, don't even think of getting on the team bus, because you're off the team!

Jack_flash1975 added 15:59 - Mar 16
Why can't we bring in a few more of the under 23's into the mix and bring a bit a "fizz" into the team just like Sims does when he has no fear about going forward? This could stop the 1st team thinking they have a right to be first choice. I notice we have a striker in the u23's who has scored 16 goals this season (against lesser opposition I know) but they have nothing to lose and it keeps the opposition guessing rather than putting out a known predictable team every week. This is now down to mind games and seeing who has the balls for the fight as we can no longer rely on goal difference and teams below us to lose.

Safe journey to those going up North and see you in Wigan... UP THE SAINTS... 👍

aceofthebase added 20:22 - Mar 16
KriSaint I have been saying the same for two seasons about Cedric and it has earned me many negative marks however we are right. I also agree with the majority, no all, of your other comments. 433 for me too.

Consigliere added 20:49 - Mar 16
Having read Sonic's contribution I decided to read Mr Hughes first interview and I have to say I agree - it makes a pleasant change to listen to a manager who is capable of stringing words together to make proper sentences, without platitudes and cliches. Lets hope he can have the same impact on the pitch!

aceofthebase added 22:02 - Mar 16
Can't say I give monkeys what the manager sounds like, all that matters are what happens on the pitch and the results. No game has ever been won in the press room.

Consigliere added 10:24 - Mar 17
I think you may be missing my point Ace, if we can understand him, maybe the players can

warrens76 added 10:52 - Mar 17
@kri saint...yes I think Soares is a dreadful wingback, some may consider that not being able to head, pass accurately, provide assists and have Dracula's view on crosses would be somewhat a handicap in his role!
Redmonds negativity kills me, if he plays better on his 'one sided' (really in this day and age) right then he should stand up to be played in that position or fall on his sword, double cowardice..
Those two can turn off the lights when leaving, if Redmond proves me wrong inder Hughes wonderful.

SaintBrock added 09:24 - Mar 18
Cedric is a brilliant defender and has saved us many times with well timed last ditch tackles. How do you expect him to perform with a sleep walking idiot alongside him and an attacking midfielder who lacks even rudimentary ball skills in front of him.

You try covering the arses of two other players as well as doing your own job

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