Southampton Welsh manager Mark Hughes reacts during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Manchester United at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England on December 1, 2018. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

7 Candidates Who Could Succeed Mark Hughes as Southampton Manager

Despite his side's spirited performance that earned the Saints a 2-2 draw against Manchester United last weekend, it wasn't enough to save Mark Hughes' bacon, and the Southampton board gave him the chop on Monday morning.

Becoming the second Premier League boss to be shown the door this season - Fulham sacked Slaviša Jokanović last month - Hughes' departure presents an opportunity for a new manager to turn around the Saints' season, which has seen the south coast side pick up just nine points from their opening 14 games.

After a tough spell that saw the club briefly sink into League One, Southampton bounced back into the Premier League in 2012, and have become an integral part of the competition ever since - bringing stars such as Sadio Mané, Virgil van Dijk and Adam Lallana to the Premier League.

A new captain is now needed to steady the ship, and here's seven candidates who could take the helm St Mary's.

7. Garry Monk

This won't be a popular suggestion with Birmingham City, whose fortunes have improved considerably under Garry Monk's ten month reign, but the former Swansea City boss could be ready to jump back into Premier League action.

With the Blues performing well in the Championship, it seems unlikely that Monk will abandon the project relatively early into his tenure, but stranger things have happened, and the allure of top flight football can't be underestimated.

6. Sam Allardyce

When it comes to a Premier League salvage job, there's nobody than Fireman Sam Allardyce to tackle the roaring flames of potential relegation.

It's only natural that the former England manager is being touted for this job, given the Saints' perilous position, and he could potentially work as a stop-gap appointment until the end of the season.

However, the Saints may prefer to take a more long-term approach, and given that Allardyce doesn't stick around for long these days, may look elsewhere.

5. David Moyes

It's easy to forget that David Moyes was once one of the Premier League's most respected managers, after turning Everton into a formidable top tier unit on a shoestring budget.

Following disastrous spells with Manchester United, Real Sociedad, Sunderland and West Ham, the Scotsman has become a figure of fun, and he'll be eager to rebuild his former reputation.

Moyes is rumoured to be keen on the job at St Mary's, and his extensive Premier League experience could give him the upper hand in the selection process.

4. Paulo Sousa

Paulo Sousa is definitely in the running for the job, and has experience of winning titles - admittedly in the relatively uncompetitive Israeli Premier League (Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2014) and Swiss Super League (Basel in 2015).

As a player, Sousa won the Champions League twice with Juventus and Borussia Dortmund respectively, but his managerial career is yet to reach those heights.

Recruiting Sousa would arguably be a gamble, given his previous miserable spells with Queens Park Rangers, Swansea City and Leicester City. Still, it could certainly happen.

3. Ralph Hasenhüttl

Touted by some as the best candidate to replace Hughes, former RB Leipzig manager Ralph Hasenhüttl has the potential to revolutionise the Saints' style of football.

During his time with the controversial Bundesliga side, Hasenhüttl's team became renowned for their pressing and counter-attacking abilities.

The Austrian could certainly breathe new life into the club, and his knowledge of the German top tier could prove advantageous when it comes to signing bargains in the transfer market.

2. Harry Redknapp

What if all this 'I'm a Celebrity...' nonsense was all a master plan to get Harry Redknapp prepared for a dramatic return to the gruelling ordeal of Premier League management?

The 71-year-old famously crossed the divide between Portsmouth and Southampton - much to the chagrin of the Pompey faithful - back in mid 00s, before hopping straight back to Fratton Park when it all went sour.

Recent spells with Birmingham City and er...Jordan have done little to boost the manager's dwindling reputation, so the chances of this happening are, to put it mildly, remote.

1. Quique Sánchez Flores

The bookies favourite, former Watford boss Quique Sánchez Flores is odds on to be given the job.

Many fans of the Hornets were dismayed to see the manager sacked after he lead the club to a mid table finish and a FA Cup semi-final.

After an underwhelming spell with La Liga side Espanyol, Flores looks ready to jump back into managerial hot-seat.

The 53-year-old has unfinished business in the Premier League, which is bound to fuel his desire for success.