Southampton fired manager Nigel Adkins and named Mauricio Pochettino as his replacement, the Premier League soccer club said on its website.
Southampton is 15th in the 20-team league, just three points above the three relegation spots at the bottom of the standings. Adkins’s firing comes two days after the Saints rallied from a two-goal deficit for a 2-2 draw at Chelsea.
Southampton opened the season with one win in 10 games to sit in last place. The Saints have lost just twice over the past 12 matches to climb up five spots, but it wasn’t enough to save Adkins’ job.
“This decision has been made with the long-term ambitions of Southampton Football Club in mind,” executive chairman Nicola Cortese said. “While 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.”
Adkins, 47, was in his third season with Southampton. He guided the Saints to back-to-back promotions, earning a return to the Premier League last season with a second-place finish in the Championship.
Pochettino, 40, left Espanyol “by mutual consent” in November after four years with the Spanish club. The Argentine made over 300 appearances in two stints as a player at Espanyol.
“This is the kind of opportunity that any coach would relish,” Pochettino said. “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 will make his debut in three days when Southampton hosts Everton.