Mark Hughes: Southampton boss says Saints' Premier League position 'baffling'

Mark Hughes
Southampton beat Wigan in the FA Cup quarter-final in Hughes' first game in charge

Southampton's position in the Premier League relegation zone is "baffling", says new manager Mark Hughes.

Saints are two points and one place below 17th-placed West Ham, whom they face on Saturday in Hughes' first league game in charge (15:00 BST).

The Welshman took over from Mauricio Pellegrino, who was sacked this month after a run of one win in 17 matches.

"Confidence has been eroded and that has affected players' performance," Hughes told Football Focus.

"I have tried to give them more confidence and more direction in what we are trying to do and hopefully that will help us.

"The players are clearly a talented group and I have enjoyed working with them. If you don't get the run of results that you think your performances deserve then confidence does get affected."

Hughes helped steer Southampton into the FA Cup semi-finals with victory over Wigan in his first game in charge.

Saints, who have finished the past four seasons in the top 10 of the Premier League, have just eight games remaining to avoid relegation.

"Everything is here, geared up to give the players the best opportunity to be successful," Hughes said.

"The fact we find ourselves in this situation is a little bit baffling."

You can see Hughes' full interview on BBC One on Saturday from 12:00 BST.

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