Pellegrino speaks for first time since Southampton sacking

The writing had been on the wall for Mauricio Pellegrino for some time at Southampton.

The Argentine was sacked on Monday evening following a dismal record in the Premier League.

In the summer, the Saints opened a new chapter by bringing in Pellegrino to replace Claude Puel, but the task did not go to plan.

In 30 top-flight matches, the coastal club won just five under Pellegrino’s leadership, which has left them one point above the relegation zone with eight games left to play.

Southampton fans have been unhappy for some time about the manager’s style of play, and his sacking would have come as no surprise to them.

Now, potential replacements have been filling the newspaper columns, with former Stoke City boss Mark Hughes believed to have held talks regarding the position, according to BBC Sport.

While fans mull over the prospect of welcoming a new manager, they will also be digesting what Pellegrino has had to say about his dismissal.

In a statement released via the club’s official website, the Argentine said:

“As you know, my period in Southampton has finished. From the beginning I tried to do my best every single day, I tried to give back to the club and tried to represent the club with pride. Some moments we managed this, some moments we couldn’t, but we have been living a difficult season for many reasons. The manager is the face of a lot of decisions and actions, but I always tried to put the club first with my technical staff and the board behind me.

“I am really happy with the hospitality of the people of Southampton and the respect you have shown me in every moment during this experience. The fans have been behind us even in difficult games and I am really grateful for your support in those situations.

“I feel so sorry to leave the club in this situation, but when you don’t get results I understand the decision the club has to take. I wish everyone all the best for the rest of the season, I have enjoyed an amazing experience and I know that Southampton has everything required to move forward.”