Luke Shaw has said he is “gutted” after Saints legend and youth coach Jason Dodd was sacked along with Paul Williams.

Dodd, who made more than 450 appearances for the club as a player, was dismissed from his role as coach of the under-18 side.

Williams worked alongside Dodd and was also given the axe as Saints ring the changes in the club’s youth set-up.

The club have refused to comment on the sackings due to ongoing legal proceedings, meaning the official reason remains a mystery.

The Daily Echo understands the decisions were football related and not to do with Mauricio Pochettino’s future or any desire for the manager to bring in his own people.

It is likely therefore that the ultimate decision was taken by Les Reed, pictured right, who has an overview of all football related matters at St Mary’s.

Shock There was widespread shock at St Mary’s as the news filtered out, and that included Shaw who was one of several players to come through the youth ranks under Dodd and quickly into the first team.

Such was Shaw’s shock at the decision that he took to Twitter from England’s pre-World Cup training camp in Portugal to say: “Gutted for doddsy and Willo, helped me a lot in my development over the years, wish them all the best in their careers.”

Worrying Many will see Shaw’s statement as hugely worrying given that the club need to convince him to remain at St Mary’s in the face of a £25m offer for his services from Manchester United.

Dodd and Williams, who was part of Gordon Strachan’s Saints squad that finished eighth in the Premier League and reached the FA Cup final in 2003, also ushered Calum Chambers, James Ward-Prowse, Harrison Reed and Sam Gallagher through the youth set-up and into Pochettino’s first team ranks.

The team finished sixth in the under-18 Premier League last season.

Saints are expected to make fresh appointments to replace the pair in due course.