Southampton vs Watford: Premier League game to bee overseen by Simon Hooper

Southampton vs Watford: Premier League game to bee overseen by Simon Hooper

Southampton set to fire Mark Hughes if they dont win next match

EXCLUSIVE: Saints ready to pull the trigger on boss with one win and a single open-play goal in the league since September

Mark Hughes is set to be sacked by Southampton if he fails to win Saturdays crunch home game against Watford.

The Welshman finds himself under huge pressure at St Marys, with the club having won just once in the Premier League – against Crystal Palace on September 1 – all season. They are just one point outside of the relegation zone. 

His previous outings have been spread out across the past three years, with his maiden top flight game coming on the opening day of the 2015/16 season.

According to The Daily Mirror, the Saints board are ready to ditch Hughes if he doesnt pick up maximum points this weekend, with David Moyes and Sam Allardyce among the top candidates to take over.

Southampton, who have only scored seven goals in the top flight this term, were thrashed 6-1 by Manchester City on Sunday to leave them without a victory in the league in over two months.

Hughes saved the club from relegation after replacing Mauricio Pellegrino in March of this year, but he has failed to build on that this season.

The game is set for home soil following our heavy 6-1 defeat to Manchester City last weekend and it’s not the first rumblings of the sack – social media, in particular, has long been full of fans wanting the Board to draw a line under his spell in charge as there just hasn’t been any real improvements.

Supporters have become frustrated with the style of play under the former Blackburn manager, with some said to be keen on a return for former boss Gordon Strachan.

The betting markets are already busy in reaction to the claims in the likes of the Daily Express and the Birmingham Mail suggest that former Aston Villa manager’s Steve Bruce and Martin O’Neill are in the frame as potential replacements.

Moyes finds himself out of work after leaving West Ham at the end of last season, while Allardyce is also free to take over having been sacked by Everton in May.   

The Mirror also claim that former Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim is popular at St Marys, although he is now set to move to the Chinese Super League. 

Hughes now faces a must-win game against Watford on Saturday afternoon, with Javi Gracias side looking to bounce back from last weekends 1-0 defeat at Newcastle when they travel to the south coast. 

David Moyes (left) and Sam Allardyce, pictured with Sven Goran Eriksson (right), are in the frame for the Southampton job if Hughes is shown the door

Speaking after his sides capitulation at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, Hughes said: We were more than a little bit too passive.

When you have got the likes of David Silva and Raheem Sterling winning headers in your box, that cant happen.

I am thinking we need to be more aggressive and determined in our defensive play. That was the frustration for me because we talked a lot about what we were trying to do and that game plan went out of the window.

The first 10-15 minutes you have to be strong enough, that is the disappointment. We were never going to get anything out of it because of the opening period.

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