Pellegrino 'understands' Southampton sacking

Departing Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino told fans: "I understand the decision the club has to take."

Sacked Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino   -  Getty Images

Mauricio Pellegrino concedes he can have no complaints after he was sacked as Southampton manager with the club just one point clear of the Premier League's bottom three.

Pellegrino was appointed at St Mary's at the start of the season, taking over from Claude Puel after impressing with Alaves in LaLiga.

But his time in England did not go to plan, with the Saints winning just five Premier League matches and Saturday's awful 3-0 defeat at Newcastle United leaving them 17th, just above the relegation zone.

In a statement posted on Southampton's official website, Pellegrino addressed the club's fans, saying: "From the beginning I tried to do my best every single day, I tried to give back to the club and tried to represent the club with pride. 

"Some moments we managed this, some moments we couldn't, but we have been living a difficult season for many reasons. The manager is the face of a lot of decisions and actions, but I always tried to put the club first with my technical staff and the board behind me. 

"I am really happy with the hospitality of the people of Southampton and the respect you have shown me in every moment during this experience. The fans have been behind us even in difficult games and I am really grateful for your support in those situations.

"I have to say thanks to [chairman] Ralph [Krueger], to the board, to [vice-chairman] Les [Reed] and [director of football] Ross Wilson, all my technical staff and all the Southampton employees. Also to my players, who respected me in every single moment.

"I feel so sorry to leave the club in this situation, but when you don't get results I understand the decision the club has to take. 

"I wish everyone all the best for the rest of the season. I have enjoyed an amazing experience and I know that Southampton has everything required to move forward."

Southampton, who are yet to appoint Pellegrino's replacement, travel to Wigan Athletic in the last eight of the FA Cup on Sunday, before a key away league clash with fellow strugglers West Ham on March 31.