Are Southampton trying to 'do a Sunderland'? And will they stay up - vote now

From BBC - March 14, 2018

Southampton have gambled that sacking Mauricio Pellegrino with only eight games left is their best bet of staying in the Premier League.

The club are just one point and one place above the relegation zone, having won just one of their past 17 league games.

Former Stoke boss Mark Hughes is in talks to take over at St Mary's, but does he have enough time to save the Saints?

Only twice in 10 years has a manager taken over a relegation-threatened club this late on and guided them to safety - and both were Sunderland.

But the Black Cats did not get a third life and did eventually go down last year.

BBC Sport looks at the fortunes of every club that changed their manager in March or later during the past 10 Premier League seasons...

Great escapes

Sunderland - Dick Advocaat (March 2015)

The gamble: Sunderland appointed the former Netherlands boss a day after sacking Gus Poyet. Like Southampton, the Black Cats were 17th and one point above the relegation zone after a run of one victory in 12 league games. They had nine games left.

The result: Advocaat guided Sunderland to safety by winning three and drawing three of their remaining nine matches, finishing 16th and three points clear of the drop.

What happened next? A cautionary tale. The Dutchman was due to leave the club that summer but signed a new one-year contract - only to resign after Sunderland won just one of their first eight games the following season. The Black Cats were relegated at the end of 2016-17 having survived the previous campaign under Advocaat's successor Sam Allardyce and are now bottom of the Championship.

Sunderland - Paolo di Canio (March 2013)

The gamble: The Italian succeeded Martin O'Neill after a run of poor results left Sunderland one point above the relegation zone with only seven games left.

The result: Di Canio's side lost just twice in seven games. They failed to win any of their final three fixtures, but finished one place and three points above the relegation zone.

What happened next? Di Canio was sacked that September with Sunderland bottom after claiming just one point from five games. Gus Poyet came in and guided them to 14th before his own struggles the next season.

Want to read more on the Premier League relegation battle?

Too little, too late

These clubs were already in the relegation zone when they dismissed their bosses. The new manager bounce was not enough to save any of them - several did not bounce at all.

Middlesbrough - Steve Agnew (March 2017)

The gamble: Middlesbrough sacked Aitor Karanka after a 10-game winless run that left the club 19th and three points from safety with 11 games remaining.

The result: Caretaker boss Agnew managed just one win and Boro were relegated with two games still to play.

What happened next? Boro regrouped this season in the Championship under Garry Monk, before he was sacked and replaced by Tony Pulis. Under the Welshman, Boro occupy the sixth and final play-off place with nine games to go.

Newcastle - Rafael Benitez (March 2016)

The gamble: The Magpies were a point from safety with 10 games to go when they fired Steve McClaren in favour of former Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Valencia boss Benitez.

The result: Despite Benitez losing only three matches and improving their points per game ratio to 1.30 from 0.86 under McClaren, Newcastle were relegated with one game of the season left.

What happened next? The Spaniard stayed on and guided Newcastle to the Championship title last season. They are in a relegation battle again this term, but now sit five points clear of the bottom three with eight games left after beating Pellegrino's Southampton 3-0 in their last match.

Aston Villa - Eric Black (March 2016)

The gamble: There was not one. Although not yet mathematically relegated, Villa were already doomed when they sacked Remi Garde. The club had just 16 points from 31 games - 12 fewer than 17th-placed Norwich.

The backfire

Southampton - What do you think?


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