Le Tissier backs Southampton over Puel sacking, claiming club took big step down

first_imgMatt Le Tissier says he fully understands Southampton’s decision to sack manager Claude Puel – and trusts the club will find the ideal replacement.Puel was axed on Wednesday after just 12 months in charge following an end-of-season review by executive director Les Reed.The Frenchman led the Saints to an eighth-place finish in the Premier League last season and to the League Cup final – their first major final appearance in 14 years.But Le Tissier believes the club have gone backwards under the 55-year-old and he does not disagree with the decision to make a managerial change.Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT, the Saints legend said: “On the face of it you would say it looks very harsh and I can understand why a lot of people outside of Southampton are thinking that 100 per cent.“However, when you look deeper at the facts: we were 17 points worse off than we were last season, we were six points off 17th place which, given what we had done the prevous three years, was a big step down.“That was coupled with a lack of goals, a really poor Europa League campaign in which we failed to get out of a pretty weak group, and the fact Sunderland were the only team that scored less home goals than we did last season“Looking from the outside it does look harsh and the League Cup final was a terrific performance but, unfortunately, that was the exception to the rule this season.“From what I understand the club gave him every chance to be in charge next season if he was willing to change his style of play and by all accounts there was no budging on that.“He didn’t think he did anything wrong, he felt what he was doing was the right way to go about things and that is where the disagreement came around. That is why it has taken so long to make the decision.”Having seen Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman leave for rival clubs in recent years, Southampton are used to searching for managers and Le Tissier is confident they will identify the right man to succeed Puel.“The club have done pretty well in picking their managers,” said Le Tissier,“The last two before Claude were very successful and moved on pretty quickly.“As a Saints fan, I trust in the club to do their homework properly and come up with the right man to take us forward.”last_img read more