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Southampton have this evening confirmed the appointment of former Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Fulham, QPR and, more recently, Stoke City manager as the replacement for Mauricio Pellegrino who was dismissed earlier this week.

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Hughes takes over a club who are currently one point above the drop zone, a drop zone that includes Stoke where he was in charge until January before being replaced by Paul Lambert.

Mark Hughes said: “It’s a challenge I’m excited by. It’s a great opportunity to come back to a club I know well, and a club I’ve got real affinity with, and I couldn’t turn that down.

“I bring experience of the Premier League. I understand what it takes in this league to win games. But first and foremost I think it’s about coming in and maybe being that different voice, that different message from myself and the staff, that will enable the players to recognise and focus on what needs to be done in this key period of the season.

“The objective clearly is to remain in the league and make sure we’re a Premier League club next year. That’s where this club needs to be, that’s where it should be, and that’s our intention to make sure it remains there.”

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