Southampton have appointed former Stoke boss Mark Hughes as their new manager until the end of the season.
The 54-year-old replaces Mauricio Pellegrino, who was sacked by Saints on Monday with the team one point and one place above the relegation zone.
They had won once in 17 games, with eight league matches left this season.
Hughes was sacked by Stoke in January after four and a half years in charge, leaving with the Potters in the relegation zone.
He has taken charge of 445 Premier League matches for Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham, QPR and Stoke during a managerial career that began with five years in charge of his native Wales.
He spent two years at Southampton from 1998 to 2000 in a 22-year playing career that also included spells at Manchester United, Chelsea and Barcelona .
“It’s a challenge I’m excited by. It’s a great opportunity to come back to a club I know well, and a club I’ve got real affinity with, and I couldn’t turn that down,” Hughes said.
“I bring experience of the Premier League. I understand what it takes in this league to win games. But first and foremost I think it’s about coming in and maybe being that different voice, that different message from myself and the staff, that will enable the players to recognise and focus on what needs to be done in this key period of the season.
“The objective clearly is to remain in the league and make sure we’re a Premier League club next year. That’s where this club needs to be, that’s where it should be, and that’s our intention to make sure it remains there.”
Hughes’ first game will be Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final against League One side Wigan.
Saints were beaten 3-0 by Newcastle on Saturday and their next league game is away to fellow strugglers West Ham on 31 March.
Hughes is the club’s fifth permanent manager in the five years since Mauricio Pochettino, now Spurs manager, replaced Nigel Adkins.
|Premier League record|
|Games||Win %||Points per game|
|Blackburn Rovers (2004-08)||147||39.5||1.45|
|Manchester City (08-09)||55||40||1.44|
|QPR (Jan 12-Nov 12)||30||20||0.8|