Hughes comments have air of arrogance after Southampton departures

Date published: Thursday 8th November 2018 4:39 - Matthew Briggs

Mark Hughes TEAMtalk

Mark Hughes insists he has no concerns about his future as Southampton manager following the sacking of vice-chairman Les Reed.

Struggling Saints have wielded the axe on Reed and technical director Martin Hunter in a bid to re-energise their ailing fortunes.

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

Saints boss Hughes, appointed in March, feels the boardroom departures will not adversely affect his own position.

“In the summer, I was offered a three-year contract. Clearly Les would have had an impact in that decision but not totally,” said Hughes at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s clash with Watford.

“All the board and the ownership itself made that decision to offer me that contract so, although Les is no longer around as a sounding board and as a supportive guy in the background, there’s still a lot of people here that felt I was the right man for the job.

“I don’t think my position has been diminished too much in that regard.”

Reed headed football-related matters at St Mary’s since 2010 – a period in which Saints rose from League One to finish as high as sixth in the top flight.

Southampton announced his departure on Thursday morning, while Hughes confirmed director Hunter – a close ally of Reed – had also left having held various positions following his arrival eight years ago.

“Although it’s a sad situation for Les – and Martin Hunter who’s been very supportive in my time here and who’s also left – the club will move on,” added Welshman Hughes.

“We will envisage to get a positive run of results because clearly that’s one of the reasons why decisions have been made because results of late haven’t been where they need to be.”

Reed’s sacking came following a run of just one goal in six league games and a 6-1 drubbing at champions Manchester City.

In a statement, the club said: “Southampton Football Club can today confirm it has agreed to part company with its Vice Chairman (Football), Les Reed.

“The club believes the time is right to take constructive action and make a change that will provide new drive and direction to our football operations team and enable them to get results back on track.

“The search for the right replacement, along with a thorough review into the club’s football operations, has begun.”

There has been no official update on Hunter’s position, but chairman Ralph Krueger publicly expressed his gratitude to Reed.

“I would like to go on record to thank Les for the eight years of hard work and dedication he has given Southampton Football Club,” the chairman said.

“His time at the club will be remembered for the fine work he did in overseeing our progress through the divisions and establishing the club in the Premier League.

“The process of recruiting the right individual to head up our football operations is under way, and is a decision that needs to be given the necessary time and attention that reflects what an important position it is within our club.

“Now, more than ever, we are grateful for the continued support of our staff and fans as we work towards our joint aim of moving up the table.”


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