sport

Southampton hunting new boss

Southampton have started their search for a new manager following the departure of Mauricio Pochettino to Tottenham.

Pochettino secured a five-year contact at White Hart Lane on Tuesday after resigning at the Saints who he steered to their highest-ever Premier League finish of eighth place last season.

Although there has not been any official announcement, Sky Sports reporter Roger Clarke said the job of searching for a new man at the St Mary's helm was under way.

On the early runners, Clarke said: "The early favourite is Murat Yakin who was at Basel. He won a couple of league titles and was the manager when they beat Chelsea in the Champions League last November. He's also Swiss so may be an option for the Swiss owners.

"There's also Ronald Koeman who's in charge at Feyenoord. There's also Michael Laudrup who won the League Cup at Swansea and Gus Poyet, although there are reports that Sunderland would resist any approach."

Steve McClaren, whose Derby team lost in the Championship play-off final at the weekend, former Cardiff manager Malky Mackay and ex-Manchester United boss David Moyes are also in the running.

Pochettino swiftly attracted fans in the top flight for his attacking brand of football after joining Southampton following the sacking of Nigel Adkins in January 2013. He also helped develop home-grown talent such as the England pair of Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana.

After accepting Pochettino's resignation on Tuesday, Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger said: "We have begun the search for a new high-calibre manager.

"We will be looking for a manager that shares our values, our principles and our philosophy; a manager who can continue to grow the first team and build on our strong foundation - a foundation led by an ambitious vision and plan that continues to build on our world-class academy, our amazing 129-year heritage and our excellent staff, and rewards our loyal and passionate fan base."

The club have been on an impressive path of growth since the arrival of Markus Liebherr in 2009.

Krueger added: "This growth took place before Mauricio came, it continued strongly under his leadership, and it will continue into the next season. The board's job is to find opportunity in this challenge and to continue to move the club forward."

Saints legend Matthew Le Tissier remained optimistic for his old club despite losing such a highly-regarded manager.

He told Sky Sports News: "Mauricio has done a pretty good job there so it is a bit of a blow, but you have to look at it positively - this is a chance for another manager to come in and inherit what is a very stable football club.

"We may lose one or two players but there should be funds available for a new manager to come in and build a new squad, so we go again.

"This football club has sold many players down the years and has been written off many times, yet we have still come back and we were eighth in the Premier League last season - there is no reason we can't do it again."