Nigel Adkins sacked by Southampton; Mauricio Pochettino appointed manager

Denis Doyle

Clearly not content with a 2-2 draw against the European champions, Southampton have sacked Nigel Adkins and replaced him with ex-Espanyol manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Adkins had led the Saints to two consecutive promotions after taking over from Alan Pardew, though in what is perhaps an amusing indictment of Rafa Benitez's Chelsea, clearly the point -- on the back of victory in the relegation six-pointer against Aston Villa -- wasn't enough to save his skin.

In a rather odd appointment, his replacement is 40-year-old Argentine Mauricio Pochettino, whose only other coaching position came at Espanyol, who he took over in January 2009 before being sacked in November last year.

Adkins' sacking comes with Southampton down in 15th place, three points outside the relegation zone. Chairman Nicola Cortese has said that Pochettino's appointment was made for "long-term targets" to be achieved, with surviving relegation seemingly not an overly pressing concern.

Pochettino is perhaps best known in England for bringing down Michael Owen for a penalty in the 2002 World Cup, and despite this rather helpful occurrence, he has some work on his hands to win fans and the media around. In a fairly brutal start, he faces Everton and both Manchester clubs in his opening four games, as well as a vital clash with Wigan. Unenviable.

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