Struggling Southampton sack Hughes despite Man United draw

Mark Hughes has paid the price for Southampton's poor start to the season, with the club announcing his departure on Monday.

Mark Hughes has been sacked as Southampton manager despite Saturday's 2-2 draw against his former club Manchester United.

Saints found themselves 2-0 up at home to United on Saturday after just 20 minutes, with Stuart Armstrong and Cedric Soares getting the goals.

But the visitors fought back thanks to Romelu Lukaku and Ander Herrera, though a point arguably did either side little good in the bigger picture, with Saints still in the bottom three of the Premier League at the end of matchday 14.

A statement from the club read: "Southampton Football Club can today confirm it has parted company with first team manager Mark Hughes.

"Assistant first team manager Mark Bowen and assistant first team coach Eddie Niedzwiecki have also left the club.

"We would like to express our thanks to Mark and his staff for all of their efforts during their time at St Mary's.

"The search for a new manager to take the club forward is already under way.

"First team assistant coach Kelvin Davis will lead the team for Wednesday's Premier League game against Tottenham at Wembley."

Hughes, a former Southampton player, kept the club up last season after being appointed in March, but their dismal form in the 2018-19 campaign has led to his departure 11 months on from his exit from Stoke City.

Southampton sacked vice-chairman Les Reed in November, citing the need for "new drive and direction" to improve results.

Hughes leaves Saints 18th in the table, one point behind Huddersfield Town in 17th, after they won only one of their first 14 league games of the season.