Southampton appoint Hughes as manager until end of the season

The former Manchester City and Stoke City boss joins the club on a short-term deal and will hope to steer the Saints to safety

Southampton have named Mark Hughes as their manager, two days after sacking Mauricio Pellegrino.

Hughes will take charge of a side in the middle of a relegation fight, with the Saints sitting 17th in the Premier League, just one point and one place above the drop zone.

The 54-year-old joins on a contract until the end of the season, with reports claiming he will earn a £1 million bonus if he steers his new side to safety.

“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 in a club release.

Hughes has taken charge of nearly 450 top-flight matches in his managerial career, with spells at at Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Fulham, Queens Park Rangers and, most recently, Stoke City under his belt.

Stoke fired Hughes in January after he was with the club for nearly five seasons, replacing him with Paul Lambert after an underwhelming first half of the campaign.

"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," he added.

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"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 will take charge of training for the first time on Thursday, with the Saints set to face Wigan Athletic in an FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday.