Southampton v Watford: match preview

Southampton v Watford: match preview

Southampton v Watford

In the wake of the shock news of the sackings of Les Reed and Martin Hunter, Saints chairman Ralph Krueger faced the Daily Echo’s chief sports writer, Adam Leitch, to discuss the move and the future for the club.

In the interview they also talked about the structure of the club’s ownership board, Mark Hughes’ position, plans for the January transfer window and whether supporters can expect investment from majority owner Gao Jisheng.

Manager Hughes, meanwhile, decided to switch preparations for Saturday’s visit of Watford from Saints’ Staplewood training ground to the stadium in an attempt to provoke a response from his under-performing players.

Southampton announced in a statement on Thursday that the club had parted company with vice-chairman Les Reed, and chairman Ralph Krueger has confirmed that they are now looking to appoint a new head of football operations to replace him.

“It won’t do any harm, a change of scenery. Sometimes going into a training ground day in, day out becomes a little bit monotonous and sometimes you’ve got to change things up and that’s what we did.

Well, Reed;s eight-year tenure with the south coast outfit has come to an following a turbulent couple of years of disappointing big-money signings and managerial appointments that ultimately haven’t worked out.

There is no doubt that the 65-year-old played his part in their success just a few years ago as they secured four successive top-eight Premier League finishes and Europa League qualification on two occasions, but narrowly avoiding relegation last season left him on the brink.

Hughes, who has taken three points from five home games this season after signing a three-year contract in the summer, believes his team have an excellent opportunity for victory this weekend.

A poor start to the 2018/19 campaign under Mark Hughes in which all four summer signings aren’t regulars in the starting XI meant the writing was on the wall for Reed, and his departure was confirmed on Thursday.

The club will want to complete a thorough process to ensure they get the right individual, but they should be taking a serious look at one person who already knows the club well in Paul Mitchell.

After narrowly avoiding relegation last term, Southampton are doing little better this season and sit 16th in the table, having mustered just seven points from 11 matches.

The former MK Dons midfielder joined Saints in 2012 as their new head of recruitment, and was responsible for bringing the likes of Steven Davis, Jay Rodriguez, Victor Wanyama, Graziano Pelle, Dusan Tadic, Sadio Mane and Toby Alderweireld to the club.

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