Southampton have sacked manager Nigel Adkins and appointed former Argentina World Cup defender Mauricio Pochettino as first-team manager.
The move comes two days after Southampton came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Chelsea, who are unbeaten in five Premier League games and have lifted themselves up to 15th in the table.
He also boasted the best win percentage of any manager in Southampton history, as the club rose 48 places in the league pyramid in 26 months under him.
Adkins oversaw back-to-back promotions with Southampton, but executive chairman Nicola Cortese was understood to be in talks with former Espanyol manager Pochettino earlier this week.
“This decision has been made with the long-term ambitions of Southampton Football Club in mind. Whilst we acknowledge the contribution Nigel has made during the past two years, for the Club to progress and achieve our long-term targets a change was needed.ADVERTISEMENT
“Mauricio is a well-respected coach of substantial quality who has gained a reputation as an astute tactician and excellent man manager. I have every confidence that he will inspire our talented squad of players to perform at the highest possible level.
“He also shares my belief that the most successful clubs are built by nurturing young players through a development system that provides a clear path to the First Team, thereby creating a culture that keeps them at the Club for the long term. This is an approach he has employed with great success in the past and I look forward to him bringing that experience and expertise to Southampton.”
“This is the kind of opportunity that any coach would relish. Southampton is a club with great heritage, and an even more exciting future. There is a clear vision to take the Club to a new era of sustained success in the Premier League, and beyond, which I’m delighted to be part of.”
Pochettino was the defender who gave conceded a penalty to England in their 2002 World Cup win against Argentina for a foul on Michael Owen.
Sir Alex Ferguson said of Adkins' dismissal: "It's a crazy world and strange things happen in football. But it does seem very unfair."