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Hughes wants to stay at Southampton

London (AFP) – Mark Hughes wants to stay on as Southampton manager after masterminding Premier League survival and expects a swift decision from the club.

Hughes arrived at St Mary’s in March on a short-term contract and took eight points from as many games to help Saints avoid relegation on the final day of the season.

With his existing deal set to expire, the former Wales manager is unsure what his future holds but wants to continue the job he has started.

“I’ve come in here, been able to make an impact,” said Hughes. “It’s a good club, I’m a professional football manager, I would love the opportunity. We’ll have to wait and see.

“I would imagine the club have had discussions, not this week or the last week, probably ever since I walked through the door in terms of what they would do. There were two scenarios: if we went down or we stayed up.

“In my view they will make a quick decision one way or the other.”

Former striker Hughes, who played for Southampton from 1998 to 2000, lost his opening three league games after succeeding the sacked Mauricio Pellegrino but took eight points from the next four to all but secure safety going into Sunday’s season finale.

Only an improbable swing in goal difference could have consigned Saints to the Championship on the final weekend and, despite a 1-0 loss to champions Manchester City, a defeat for relegation rivals Swansea meant their top-flight status was never severely threatened.

Hughes, sacked by relegated Stoke in January, maintained his record of never having taken a club down.

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