Saints have sacked manager Mauricio Pellegrino.

The club have axed the Argentinian last night after a run of just one win in 17 Premier League games, which has left Saints just outside of the relegation zone.

As revealed by last night Saints have now begun the search for a successor and are hoping to make an appointment quickly, preferably before Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Wigan.

A Saints statement said: “Southampton Football Club can today confirm that it has parted company with First Team Manager Mauricio Pellegrino.

“Assistant Manager Carlos Compagnucci and Assistant First Team Coach Xavier Tamarit have also parted company with the club.

“We would like to place on record our thanks to Mauricio, Carlos and Xavier for their efforts during their time with Southampton, and wish them well for the future.

“The club will look to appoint a new management team as soon as possible, with the search for a replacement already underway.”

Pellegrino, who was only appointed last June following the sacking of Claude Puel, has proven to be unpopular with fans who have grown frustrated over his conservative style of football.

Five Premier League wins this season has left Saints hovering just above the bottom three with only eight games left to secure survival.

Saints don’t play in the Premier League again until March 31 when they travel to relegation rivals West Ham, and the decision to remove Pellegrino after two days of deliberation will, they hope, give them a bounce effect to steer them to safety.

It is believed that the manner of the defeat to Newcastle convinced the board, led by Les Reed and Ralph Krueger, to act, as the previous thinking that getting rid of him would be a gamble ebbed away given the pitiful performance.

The Daily Echo understands that the club does not want to appoint an interim style manager, and instead wants to find what it views as another long-term candidate for the job.

That may prove tricky when the club’s Premier League status is under such serious threat.

If they covet a manager who already has a job then the situation is complicated still further, and if it is an out of work manager then the question will be asked as to whether they are suitable given their lack of work.

Certainly the character of the manager will have to be right if they are to galvanise a group of players who looked totally bereft of confidence and inspiration at Newcastle.

There is also a financial element too. Not only is the decision to axe Pellegrino expected to cost many millions - having already forked out last summer on getting rid of Claude Puel – but there is the cost of recruiting a new boss too.

No manager with a strong reputation will take the job without huge compensation given the risk of relegation – which in itself is hard for Saints to agree to with the potential of a huge dip in income around the corner - and would also likely insist on a considerable bonus payment if they kept Saints in the Premier League.

But these are the decisions that the Saints board must grapple with as they start what is becoming all too familiar a process, as they prepare to appoint a third manager in 21 months.