Southampton have successfully negotiated another round of the FA Cup after defeating Watford 1-0 at St Mary’s on Saturday.
The cup has offered welcome respite from the club’s woes in the English Premier League, where they haven’t won a match since November.
Supporters can be happy with progression to the fifth round and had Jack Stephens to thank for the victory, who netted from close range just four minutes into the match.
However, manager Mauricio Pellegrino didn’t escape criticism with many supporters angry at a second half substitution that allowed Watford back into the game.
The impressive Sofiane Boufal was taken off midway through the second half for defender Maya Yoshida, inviting pressure onto the Saints in the final portion of the game.
Fans couldn’t understand the decision, with some even suggesting that the team won despite their manager, rather than because of him.
They took to Twitter to share their thoughts…
We won that despite the manager. The Boufal/Yoshida switch was his worst substitution ever. We were winning, in command and easily the more likely to score next and he gave all that up in favour of allowing them the sling it in and sitting deep. Clueless. #SaintsFC #PellegrinoOut
— Glen de la Cour (@L1minus10) January 27, 2018
#saintsFC were controlling the game entirely and allowed Watford just one shot at goal. They could hardly find space in and around our area.
So what did we do with a 1-0 lead and half hour to go? Take off Boufal for a CB, concede possession and invite pressure. Crazy.
— Fresh Saints (@FreshSaints) January 27, 2018
Yoshi for Boufal, absolutely terrible subsititution. Long alone up front now. Totally changed my mind about the manager…..Long on his own up front. Wtf? #saintsfc
— Jodie (@jodiebubs) January 27, 2018
1-0 up at home to Watford in the cup and playing reasonably well. What do you do if your Pellegrino? Replace Boufal with Yoshida and hang on. Absolute fucking idiot #saintsfc
— Sam Lane (@officialsamlane) January 27, 2018
Yoshida on for Boufal tells you all you need to know about Pellegrino’s mentality… #saintsfc
— Niall Prescott (@ThePrester) January 27, 2018
So we win but god that was awful. His substitutions are shocking and how the hell does Tadic stay on when Boufal goes off! Sack him please he is so clueless it’s embarrassing!!!
— JPS (@sorrell_john) January 27, 2018
Pellegrino is atrocious. We won despite him, but because of him.
He must be the only nutter in the world who would replace Boufal with Yoshida.#PellegrinoOUT
— Deppo (@DeppoInExile) January 27, 2018
@SouthamptonFC Pellegrino absolutely clueless. Put a defender on for Boufal and play 5 at the back when under no pressure at all! Playing with 5 back invites pressure! Get a grip @SouthamptonFC and get a proper manager in before it’s too late!
— sophie hughes (@sophieh1989) January 27, 2018