Jan 18 2013
Southampton have sacked manager Nigel Adkins and replaced him with former Espanyol boss Mauricio Pochettino.
The Saints are 15th in the Barclays Premier League after coming back from 2-0 down to claim a draw with European champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
But that was not enough to save Adkins from the axe, with 40-year-old Argentinian Pochettino taking charge of training on Saturday ahead of Monday's home game with Everton.
Saints executive chairman Nicola Cortese said: "This decision has been made with the long-term ambitions of Southampton Football Club in mind. Whilst we acknowledge the contribution Nigel has made during the past two years, for the club to progress and achieve our long-term targets a change was needed.
"Mauricio is a well-respected coach of substantial quality who has gained a reputation as an astute tactician and excellent man-manager. I have every confidence that he will inspire our talented squad of players to perform at the highest possible level.
"He also shares my belief that the most successful clubs are built by nurturing young players through a development system that provides a clear path to the first team, thereby creating a culture that keeps them at the club for the long term. This is an approach he has employed with great success in the past and I look forward to him bringing that experience and expertise to Southampton."
Adkins joined Southampton from Scunthorpe in 2010 and he guided the Saints into the Premier League with back-to-back promotions. They started slowly on their return to the top flight but Adkins departs with the club three points outside the relegation zone after a run of just two defeats from their last 12 league games.
Former Southampton captain Matt Le Tissier criticised the decision to axe Adkins.
Le Tissier told Sky Sports News: "It doesn't surprise me. It's a strange time of the season, they've lost two of the last 12 games and came from 2-0 down to draw at Chelsea. (But) it seems to be the way the club's being run under the chairman. Nothing's surprising and it's a bit of a laughing stock.
"I'm shocked at the timing, it's very strange and it's an odd thing to come to terms with today. I think he had a bit of pressure early on this season, people thought it might happen then; maybe they couldn't get the man they wanted then. It's all very strange."