Thompson expects Southampton to drop into Championship

Sky Sports pundit Phil Thompson has predicted that Southampton will lose their battle for Premier League survival.

Following Mark Hughes’s arrival as manager earlier this week, the fans have been left with a bit more optimism.

There have been some dark days at St Mary’s over the course of the season due to the management of former boss Mauricio Pellegrino.

The Argentine took over as Claude Puel’s successor last summer but could only guide the team to five wins in 30 league matches.

Hughes, who had been out of work since getting sacked by Stoke City in January, has a major task on his hands.

The Saints are just one point above the relegation zone with eight games left to play, and their recent loss was a damaging 3-0 defeat to Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

This weekend, the club will fight for a place in the FA Cup semi-finals as they take on Wigan Athletic.

In theory, Southampton could end the season with silverware, but Thompson expects them to be playing Championship football in the 2018-19 campaign.

The pundit told Sky Sports:

“I covered Southampton last week and they were absolutely dreadful. They didn’t look threatening, they didn’t look like they could defend, they were all over the place and I think they are six games too late in appointing Mark Hughes to have a real chance of turning this around.”