Southampton: Mark Hughes could keep the Saints marching in the EPL

Southampton reward Mark Hughes for last season’s great escape with a three-year deal. The former Stoke City boss is now in charge of the Saints till 2021.

Mark Hughes replaced Mauricio Pellegrino in March, signing a short-term deal with the club in danger of relegation. Hughes took over Southampton when they were one point above the relegation zone.

The Welshman went on to win three of his 10 games in charge, beating Swansea in the penultimate game of the season to secure survival. Having achieved survival, Hughes and his assistants, Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki – signed on to the club until the summer of 2021.

Is he the man for the job?

Let’s take a look at Hughes’ managerial career. He started in charge of Wales, before moving on to a stint at Blackburn. The Welshman went on to manage Manchester City, Fulham, and QPR before spending four and a half years at Stoke. Experience is clearly not a problem here; he’s managed six Premier League clubs since 2004.

Now to his achievements with these clubs. Hughes has a record of solid mid-table finishes. At Blackburn, he finished in the top ten three times and at City he finished in an underwhelming eighth place spot. In 2010, he took charge of Fulham; he took them to eighth place and qualified for the Europa League. All positive signs that he has what it takes to guide Southampton to Europe.

In between those stints, he saved QPR from relegation before taking charge of Stoke City in 2013. Hughes took Stoke to three consecutive ninth-place finishes and one 13th place finish before he was sacked last year.

Mark Hughes’ record in the Premier League is pretty solid. He has led teams to mid-table finishes along with European football. That is what Southampton need after Mauricio Pellegrino. That should interest the Saints fans as the club needs to retain their top half status. His style of football is also pleasing to the eye.

Hughes ticks all the boxes to be the man to lead the Saints’ resurgence. Fans should hope that he follows in Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman’s footsteps at the club and keep the Saints marching on.