Mark Hughes pays price for Southampton's awful start to season

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Mark Hughes, Manager of Southampton looks on during the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match between Leicester City and Southampton at The King Power Stadium on November 27, 2018 in Leicester, England.

Hughes was appointed Southampton boss back in March, tasked with keeping the club in the Premier League after Mauricio Pellegrino had been dismissed with the club in relegation trouble.

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The Premier League strugglers announced on Monday that the 55-year-old Welshman had left the club after winning just one of their 14 league matches so far this season to leave them in 18th place. Before the investment from Abu Dhabi, Hughes helped the club sign Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta, and they added Robinho after the takeover was confirmed on transfer deadline day 2008.

He led Leipzig to a second-place finish in their first Bundesliga season and subsequently a first ever Champions League campaign, followed by a Europa League quarter-final.

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The former Fulham and Stoke manger picked up two wins from his eight Premier League games in charge last season, keeping the Saints in the top flight with a scrappy 1-0 win at Swansea in the penultimate game of the season. The Cottagers finished eighth in the Premier League but Hughes chose to leave the club, a decision he later said was probably wrong.

The Austrian is understood to have been convinced of the Saints' ambition and potential - despite their troubled start to the season - in discussions with chairman Ralph Krueger, director of football operations Ross Wilson and members of the club's board of directors. Charged with improving the playing style of the mid-table Premier League club, Hughes reeled off three successive ninth-placed finishes.

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Hughes, who played for the club in the late 1990s, leaves the club following Saturday's 2-2 draw with Manchester United. The Hammers were languishing in the relegation zone when he took over.