Southampton sack manager Mauricio Pellegrino with club just above relegation zone

Pellegrino Southampton didn't represent club values in Newcastle loss

At least Højbjerg appears to know the gravity of the position Southampton are now in, unlike his manager Mauricio Pellegrino who called relegation-threatened Saints' prospects as a "nice challenge" in a post-match interview with the BBC on Saturday.

"Southampton Football Club can today confirm that it has parted company with first team manager Mauricio Pellegrino", read a statement from the club. "The search for a replacement [is] already underway".

The Argentinian was only appointed as manager last summer but the Saints hierarchy pulled the trigger with eight games remaining as they attempt to cling on to the Premier League status.

Benitez's side beat Southampton 3-0 on Saturday to climb up to 13th place in the Premier League.

The Brazilian was the Magpies main man in the win over Southampton bagging a brace to lift the Toon five points clear of the drop zone.

"We will do everything we can; I have said it before that the club cannot go down, we have to stay up". Southampton's manager, whose side have won only one of their past 16 league games, played for Benítez at Valencia and Liverpool before later joining the Anfield coaching staff and then assisting the Spaniard at Internazionale.

"Because we can't do this to ourselves, we can't do this to the fans who have travelled so far - but most importantly we can't do this to the club".

Goalscorer Ritchie told NUFC TV: "We need to take one step at a time".

To rub salt in the wounds Puel is now flourishing at Leicester, who currently lie eighth.

Newcastle have now embarked on a three-week gap without a game because of a combination of the FA Cup quarter-finals and the forthcoming global break.

They return to action with a home game against Huddersfield Town on March 31, and while a number of their rivals are in action next weekend, they will still be in a strong position when they line up against the Terriers.

Former Hull and Watford boss Marco Silva has been installed as the favourite for the vacancy with bookmakers.



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