Mark Hughes admits he would ‘love’ to stay at Southampton

Mark Hughes would “love” to continue as Southampton manager after masterminding the Saints’ Premier League survival and he expects a swift decision from the club.

Hughes arrived at St Mary’s in March on a short-term contract and took eight points from as many games to help Saints avoid relegation on the final day of the season.

With his existing deal set to expire, the Welshman is unsure what his future holds but would like the chance to build something on the south coast.

“I’ve come in here, been able to make an impact,” said Hughes. “It’s a good club, I’m a professional football manager, I would love the opportunity. We’ll have to wait and see.

Highlights: Southampton 0-1 Manchester City

“I would imagine the club have had discussions, not this week or the last week, probably ever since I walked through the door in terms of what they would do. There were two scenarios: if we went down or we stayed up.

“In my view, they will make a quick decision one way or the other.

“If it involves me, I will be delighted but I was given a short-term contract to come and do a job and that’s what I’ve done.”

Former striker Hughes, who played for Southampton from 1998 to 2000, lost his opening three league games after succeeding the sacked Mauricio Pellegrino but took eight points from the next four to all but secure safety going into Sunday’s season finale against Manchester City.

Mark Hughes says despite their 1-0 defeat to Manchester City, he was happy with the way his side played and the effort they have shown all season.

Hughes, sacked by relegated Stoke in January, maintained his record of never having taken a club down and said he risked harming his reputation by taking charge of Saints.

“From my point of view, I came in difficult circumstances. It could have gone wrong, maybe personally,” he said. “It was the fact that I’d played at this club and I knew it was a good opportunity.

“I looked at the squad and thought they need maybe a little bit of direction, they’ve lost confidence; still the risk, from my point of view, in terms of representational damage, if it went wrong.

“But I walked through the door and straight away I knew there was a group I could work with and maybe make better and get them out of this situation.”