(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 6, 2018 Southampton’s Argentinian manager Mauricio Pellegrino prepares for the English FA Cup third round football match between Fulham and Southampton at Craven Cottage in Fulham, west London on January 6, 2018. Southampton have sacked manager Mauricio Pellegrino, the Premier League club announced Monday. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK / 

Mauricio Pellegrino admits he paid the price for Southampton’s dismal form after he was sacked as manager just nine months into his reign at the Premier League club.

Pellegrino managed only five wins in his 30 league games with Southampton following his arrival in June.

The 46-year-old arrived at St Mary’s as the replacement for Claude Puel, who was sacked despite guiding Southampton to an eighth-place finish and the League Cup final.

A 3-0 defeat at relegation rivals Newcastle over the weekend left Southampton just one place and one point above the bottom three.

With Southampton supporters calling for his dismissal, the Argentine coach’s exit was confirmed on Monday and he accepted it was inevitable given his failure to halt the slide.

In a statement published on Southampton’s website on Tuesday, Pellegrino said: “From the beginning I tried to do my best every single day, I tried to give back to the club and tried to represent the club with pride.

“Some moments we managed this, some moments we couldn’t, but we have been living a difficult season for many reasons.

“The manager is the face of a lot…

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