Mark Hughes says Southampton need to make permanent managerial appointment

Mark Hughes says Saints need to act quickly and name a permanent manager

Mark Hughes believes the club needs to swiftly appoint a permanent manager but is happy with how they have approached the situation.

Hughes was offered a short-term contract until the end of the season when he joined in March having been sacked by Stoke after they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Sky Bet League Two side Coventry.

Barring a dramatic final day of the Premier League campaign – Southampton would have to lose at home to Manchester City, with Swansea beating Stoke with a 10-goal swing – the Saints are safe.

That has led to talk of whether or not Hughes will still be at St Mary’s next season but either way, Hughes feels a decision will soon be made.

“I think it’s important for the club that they do that, because clearly there’s work to be done immediately after the season,” said Hughes. “Decisions have to be made in terms of recruitment and retention of the players.

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“So it would make sense to make a quick appointment, but I can’t shape that or dictate that, that’s a decision for the club.

“But the focus had to be totally on what we were trying to do. It would have been wrong to go into depth about the future because no one knew what the future would be.

“I think the club has approached that situation in the right way.

“In some conversations you may have an inkling that the club would like to do something but I fully understand that the club needed to know where it was going to be in any discussions of the future.”

Swansea 0-1 Southampton

Hughes was delighted with the response of his players to adversity as they defeated Swansea 1-0 away on Tuesday night to all-but secure their top-flight survival.

The Welshman is now hoping they can carry that intensity and desire into their final game of the season, at home to champions Manchester City, live on Sky Sports Mix as part of a triple bill on Sunday.

“For us it’s not the final step and we have more work to do but I was conscious today that I wanted to see the same focus I have seen since I walked in the door,” he added.

“The players have given no indication that their focus and commitment has wavered since and we’ll be ready to go again on Sunday.

“The fans recognised that we needed them and we had to perform better to give them something. It feels everyone is moving forward in the same direction.”

Hughes also acknowledged the negativity that could be sensed in the stadium at times when the team was managed by his predecessor Manuel Pellegrino, although he insists he has not witnessed the same situation since he joined the club.

“All I’ve ever experienced is positive reactions from our supporters,” he said.

“There was maybe a bit of a disconnect [between fans and players] and that can happen if you are not getting points and results but it now seems like everybody is pulling in the right direction and that’s been crucial.”

Watch Southampton v Manchester City on Super Sunday. Coverage begins on Sky Sports Mix and Sky Sports Premier League – Red Button at 2:55pm.

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