Mark Hughes has been sacked by Saints just six months into a three-year deal.

Here are five things from his brief reign at St Mary's:

1. He kept Saints in the Premier League

Daily Echo:

Saints celebrate after beating Swansea

Hughes replaced the sacked Mauricio Pellegrino in March earlier this year with his remit being to keep Saints in the Premier League.

The Welshman achieved that with wins over Bournemouth and Swansea which saw him awarded with a three-year contract.

However, with only five victories from his 27 games in charge, Hughes was sacked by Saints and leaves them in the relegation zone.

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2. Hughes never knew his best formation

Hughes never quite got his head around which formation to deploy his players in.

Whether it was 4-2-3-1, 3-4-3 or 4-4-2 he never seemed confident on how to set his side up.

Against Manchester United on Saturday, Hughes went with 3-4-3. It was arguably Saints' best performance of the season despite them being pegged back from a 2-0 lead.

3. He loved arguing with referees

Daily Echo:

Mark Hughes looks towards the fourth official

If things didn't go Saints' way, you could almost be certain that the referee would be the one in Hughes' firing line.

At one point in the season, the former boss had a higher whinge rate than win rate which gives you an idea of how many times he thought the referee cost Saints.

After the 1-1 draw with Watford, Hughes went on a tirade about VAR and how the officials had cost his side three points.

He demanded that it was introduced into the Premier League and then at Leicester during the Carabao Cup defeat, he bemoaned the use of VAR when it ruled out Steven Davis' goal.

4. Not playing the summer signings

Daily Echo:

Jannik Vestergaard

It became fairly obvious that the signings bought in during the summer weren't fancied by Hughes.

The additions of Stuart Armstrong, Mo Elyounoussi, Jannik Vestergaard and Angus Gunn have all struggled for game time.

Armstrong has proved a revelation since he came back into the side at Watford, but the others haven't been given a fair crack at the whip.

Gunn has proved himself to be an alternative to Alex McCarthy after a string of good displays in the Carabao Cup, but Vestergaard and Elyounoussi have only played a bit-part role since arriving in the summer.

Hughes claimed in press conferences that he only 'sanctioned' the deals.

5. He lost his sounding board when Les Reed was sacked

Daily Echo:

Les Reed

Hughes' biggest ally in the Saints hierarchy was the former vice-chairman, Les Reed.

When the club took the decision to part company with Reed and Martin Hunter, Hughes immediately lost the support he had from Reed.

Reed was heavily involved in getting Hughes to Saints due to them knowing each other from past encounters at the FA.