Southampton manager Mark Hughes has admitted that he is delighted that he took the “high risk” Saints job at the back-end of last season, as reported by the club’s official website.
The Welshman guided the club to Premier League safety last season after taking over in March following a 3-0 defeat at Newcastle United.
He has since gone on to sign a three-year contract at St Mary’s Stadium, with the club rewarding him for his efforts in keeping the club in the division.
When he was brought in by the club’s hierarchy, Saints were five points adrift from safety with just eight games remaining, including encounters with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City.
He picked up a couple of key wins in this time against Bournemouth at St Mary’s and Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium as Saints preserved their status in the division for another season.
When looking back on the recently-concluded season, the Saints boss spoke of how much of a risk it was to take over from Mauricio Pellegrino at the end of the season:
It was high risk, if I’m honest, in terms of my position. It could’ve gone poorly, but I wasn’t really thinking about that.
It was a different situation and a difficult decision on a few levels. I’d just left one position (at Stoke) to go into another situation where it could’ve gone in a different way, and the club may well have had a different result at the end of the season, which nobody wanted.
I think that certainly helped, and it was a key part of my decision when I decided to take up the offer to come in when I did. Thankfully, we all came together and I really enjoyed it.