Claude Puel’s future as Saints manager is set to be decided by an internal end of season review at St Mary’s.

The Frenchman has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks with growing speculation that he could be sacked just a year into his three-year contract.

Saints chairman Ralph Krueger refused to say that Puel would still be in charge next season.

Instead, he insisted the decision will be taken by the football management staff, led by Les Reed and Ross Wilson.

Krueger said: “Since the beginning of my time here any players, managers, it’s a football analysis which happens at the beginning of next week and I don’t want to take anything away from that analysis.

“Right now we are still fighting this season, we are an extremely focussed group and don’t judge before.

“The white noise whether it’s been around ownership, the white noise whether it’s been around players or the manager has really been quite ignored for us as far as staying on the job.

“Once the job is done after the Stoke game it will be up to football to do a debrief and give transparency to our plans.

“I of course on a personal level have a high respect and have enjoyed the season with Claude. We have all experienced ups and downs and no one person in this club is responsible for anything.

“We always look at the whole and football will do that at the end of the season.”