Pellegrino sacked: Southampton target Marco Silva as next manager

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Former Hull and Watford manager Marco Silva has also been linked with the job, and was in the running last summer when Pellegrino was appointed.

The final straw for the Saints board was the spineless 3-0 defeat at Newcastle United on Saturday when Pellegrino accused some of his players of giving up.

File image of Mark Hughes.

Hughes, who was sacked by Stoke six days into the New Year, made 52 Premier League appearances for Southampton between 1998 and 2000 under Dave Jones then Glenn Hoddle, scoring just two goals before moving on to Everton.

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Silva impressed many with his ultimately fruitless attempts to guide Hull City to Premier League safety past year and he made a good start at Watford this season until an approach from Everton soured his relations with the club.

The team has been in the Premier League since 2012.

But who will take on the challenge of keeping the Saints up?

As the paper points out "given the club's perilous position they will struggle to attract a leading manager", increasing the likelihood that the Saints will go marching into the Championship at the end of the season.

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Despite having being sacked by the FA in September 2017, the former Bolton boss was back in work in December 2017 taking over at Crystal Palace, where he ultimately helped achieve a 14th place finish for the Eagles.

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Pellegrino, who leaves with the third worst Southampton managerial record in the Premier League, appeared to be bracing himself for the sack after last weekend's loss to Newcastle as he admitted he "observed some players who gave up".

They have won just five league games this season and their 3-2 victory at West Bromwich Albion, who are bottom of the table, in February is their only league win since November.

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