Southampton’s relegation six-pointer against Fulham was always going to provide a contrast between sticking by a struggling manager and sacking one.
Slavisa Jokanovic did far more for the Cottagers than Mark Hughes has done for the Saints but the Whites’ hierarchy were ruthless with the Serbian while the Welshman has been spared.
But after Claudio Ranieri bagged a thrilling 3-2 win in his maiden match in charge of his new club, it throws new light on Southampton’s decision to stick with Hughes and ramps up the pressure to dismiss him.
The Mirror have reported that Southampton have drawn up a list of potential successors for Hughes, including Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers and former Borussia Dortmund boss Peter Bosz.
Hughes was an unadventurous, uninspiring, short-term choice, which has been out of keeping with the long-term plan that got Southampton into the top half of the Premier League at one stage.
If they are to avoid becoming just another generic top flight club, like Stoke did before they got relegated, they must get back to that blueprint of attractive football, carefully appointed managerial choices and both Rodgers and Bosz would both fit the bill.
Otherwise, being stuck with Hughes could see Southampton go the exact same way as his former club.