Southampton: Mark Hughes would 'love' to remain Saints manager

Mark Hughes Southampton
Mark Hughes collected eight points from as many matches to guide Southampton to Premier League safety

Mark Hughes says he would "love" to remain Southampton manager after guiding the club to Premier League survival.

Hughes arrived on a short-term deal at St Mary's in March and took eight points from eight games to help the Saints avoid relegation.

With his existing contract set to expire, the Welshman said: "I've come in and been able to make an impact.

"It's a good club and I would love the opportunity."

Former Stoke manager Hughes, 54, added: "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 if we stayed up.

"In my view they will make a quick decision one way or the other. If it involves me, I will delighted but I was given a short-term contract to come and do a job and that's what I've done."

Hughes, who played for Southampton between 1998 and 2000, replaced Mauricio Pellegrino with the club one point above the relegation zone after one win in 17.

And although he lost his opening three league games, he collected eight points from the next four to all but guarantee safety before the final day of the Premier League campaign on Sunday.

How Southampton's managers fared during the 2017-18 season
PlayedWonDrawnLostWin %Points per game
Mauricio Pellegrino305131216.70.93
Mark Hughes8224251

Only an unlikely swing in goal difference would have relegated Saints and, despite a late 1-0 loss to champions Manchester City, a defeat for relegation rivals Swansea meant their top-flight status was never in threat.

Sacked by relegated Stoke in January, Hughes maintained his record of never having taken a club down and said he risked reputational damage by taking charge on the south coast.

"From my point of view, I came in, in difficult circumstances. It could have gone wrong, maybe personally," he added.

"The motivation was never to get back on the horse, so to speak. It was the fact that I'd played at this club and I knew it was a good opportunity.

"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."

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