Mark Hughes can 'sort out' Southampton, says ex-Saints keeper Paul Jones

Mark Hughes
Mark Hughes' playing career included spells at Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Everton

Former Southampton goalkeeper Paul Jones is confident Mark Hughes can keep Saints in the Premier League.

Hughes, 54, has succeeded Mauricio Pellegrino, with Saints one point and one place above the relegation zone.

Jones played alongside Hughes for Wales and Southampton, where the former Stoke City boss spent two years as a player from 1998 to 2000 as well as being managed by Hughes as a Wales player.

"I think Mark's got that ability to go in and sort them out quickly," he said.

"I'm sure the fans will respond to him and I'm confident he will keep them up."

Hughes, who has also managed Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, QPR and Fulham, was sacked by Stoke in January after four and a half years, with the club in the relegation zone.

But Jones, who made over 200 appearances for Southampton, believes Hughes can save their season.

"He'll give 100% and he will certainly make people buck up their ideas and go out and perform," Jones added.

"I think that's what's been lacking recently, talking to fans and what's been said.

Paul Jones
Paul Jones joined Southampton from Stockport County in 1997 and was an FA Cup runner-up in 2003

"On paper they've got a very good squad, but for some reason they've not performed.

"The league doesn't lie, but he'll give his experience and maybe give a bit of a rocket to a few that need to pull their weight and play better."

Hughes is expected to have former international team-mates and long serving assistants Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki as part of his backroom team once again.

"They all work very well together," said Jones.

"They explain what they want and how they want to play very well.

"You know your jobs and he likes to give the players the freedom to go out and do that as well.

"They'll want to go out and express themselves."

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