Saints sack Pellegrino after one win in 17 league matches

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Pellegrino criticises ‘poor’ Southampton spirit

Southampton have sacked manager Mauricio Pellegrino with the team just one point and one place above the Premier League relegation zone with eight games left this season.

The Saints have won just one of their past 17 league matches and lost 3-0 at Newcastle United on Saturday.

Pellegrino, a former Argentina defender, was appointed in June as the successor to Claude Puel.

Saints face League One Wigan on Sunday for a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.

They are in their sixth successive season in the Premier League and have not finished lower than 14th in any of the previous five.

Following Saturday’s match, Pellegrino said he “observed some players who gave up”.

Pellegrino secured the equivalent of 0.93 points per game, the third-worst tally of any Southampton manager in the Premier League.

Assistant manager Carlos Compagnucci and assistant first-team coach Xavier Tamarit have also left the club.

Saints said in a statement they want to “appoint a new management team as soon as possible, with the search for a replacement already under way”.

Too little too late?

Former Southampton defender Francis Benali on BBC Radio 5 live:

“It is something that has been bubbling away and has been talked about by Southampton fans for a while.

“I think Pellegrino has had a good opportunity to turn things around. It is late in the season, and he perhaps should have gone some time back but Southampton have stuck with him. There have been a few must-win games that Southampton have not won.

“I think the heavy defeat against Newcastle and the manner of it has sealed his fate. They are thinking hopefully it’s not too late for someone to come in and turn things around.”

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