Mark Hughes Southampton 2018-19Getty Images

Southampton sack Hughes in bid to avoid relegation

Mark Hughes has been sacked as Southampton manager, the club have confirmed.

The Saints drew 2-2 with Manchester United on Saturday, as they threw away a 2-0 lead.

Former Manchester City and Wales manager Hughes was handed a three-year contract by the club having steered them safety in an interim role towards the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

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But he endured a torrid start to the season, with the club having taken just one win from their opening 14 games of the campaign, leaving Hughes with just three league victories to his name.

Results such as a 6-1 reverse against Manchester City, and 3-0 losses to Chelsea and Liverpool ultimately sealed his fate, and the club are now reportedly hoping to install his successor by the weekend.

Assistant manager Kelvin Davis will take charge of the first-team against Tottenham in midweek as the club seeks to find a replacement.

"Southampton Football Club can today confirm it has parted company with first team manager Mark Hughes," confirmed a club statement.

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

Mark Hughes Southampton 2018-19

"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 Hotspur at Wembley."

Southampton face Cardiff City next weekend in a game that will surely already be regarded as must-win.

Saints are currently 18th, one point ahead of bottom-placed Fulham, though they have won the fewest games in the division.

Huddersfield Town, in 17th, are one point ahead, while Cardiff sit two points clear of the relegation zone.

Hughes has endured a nomadic managerial career, taking in spells with Wales, Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham, QPR and Stoke in addition to his reign at St Mary's.