Benitez urges Newcastle to manage games better

Jamaal Lascelles

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino on the touch line during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton at St. James Park on March 10, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Newcastle are now 16th in the league standings, just two points clear of the drop zone ahead of Saturday's vital home match against 17th-placed Southampton.

Southampton have sacked manager Mauricio Pellegrino, the Premier League club have announced. "The search for a replacement [is] already underway".

Kenedy hit the headlines for the wrong reasons last summer when he was sent home from Chelsea's pre-season tour of China after posting an offensive message on Snapchat. Southampton is only a point above the drop zone.

Pellegrino admitted as much himself after the Newcastle defeat, saying: "I observed some players who gave up and we can not show this, to be honest". In the last ten minutes of the game, they were keeping the ball, passing it from one to the other and as a goalkeeper it's great when you see your defenders like that.

"Obviously, I would like to be higher. we have a good team with a lack of experience", Benitez told reporters on Friday.

"Because we can't do this to ourselves, we can't do this to the fans who have travelled so far - but most importantly we can't do this to the club".

Pellegrino was appointed last June after Claude Puel's departure but endured a hard campaign, with Southampton's run of five straight seasons finishing 14th or above nearly guaranteed to come to an end this year.

To rub salt in the wounds Puel is now flourishing at Leicester, who currently lie eighth.

In contrast, Southampton will head into its FA Cup quarterfinal at Wigan next weekend knowing it faces real peril when it returns to league action.

Since Christmas, only Manchester City and Liverpool have beaten United.

Assistant manager Carlos Compagnucci and assistant first-team coach Xavier Tamarit have also parted company with the club.

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