Will Mark Hughes spark a revival at Southampton?

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Newly appointed manager Mark Hughes during his first Southampton FC training session and. Mario Lemina(R) at the Staplewood Campus on March 15, 2018 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)

Will Mark Hughes be a hit at St. Mary’s Stadium? Southampton‘s former striker took over Mauricio Pellegrino’s hapless side in the middle of March. His first match was an FA Cup quarter final against Wigan. The 2-0 success meant Hughes could immediately look forward to a visit to Wembley with his new team. However, his chances of keeping the Saints in the Premier League may be slim. Is Mark Hughes going to spark a revival at Southampton? Probably not.

Can Mark Hughes initiate revival at Southampton?

An uninspired first half at Wigan

On a bitter afternoon at the DW Stadium, Wigan pushed Southampton onto the defensive for most of the first half. Their forwards often unsettled the visiting defenders. The League 1 side managed a string of corners without quite creating that decisive chance. It was a first forty-five minutes that did not augur well for the struggling Premier League side.

Second half breakthrough

Following a presumably vigorous half time team talk by the new manager, Southampton came out from the break on the offensive. They went ahead just after the hour mark. However, once again their lack of cutting edge was shown up when Manolo Gabbiadini missed two great chances, including a penalty.

Some talent but a coach in decline?

Southampton have some notable talent in their lineup, such as Ryan Bertrand and Sofiane Boufal. However, based on this performance they can expect a battle to remain in the top flight. Many are not convinced that Hughes can spark a revival to emulate the likes of Mauricio Pochettino. Some Southampton supporters were more optimistic; sighting his past connection with the club. Others emphasized his mixed recent coaching background. In a way Hughes began at the top by coaching his national team and later Manchester City. Since then, his career trajectory has certainly declined. Now it feels doubtful he will succeed on the South Coast.

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