Mauricio Pellegrino feels he is ‘lucky’ to still be in charge at Southampton

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Southampton’s Mauricio Pellegrino conceded he is “lucky” to remain in his job after their 1-1 draw at home to Brighton.

The Argentinian also insisted he would not be “naive” about the importance of their results and league position improving, after their latest dropped points left them 18th and at significant risk of relegation.

Pellegrino inherited a squad that the sacked Claude Puel led to an eighth-placed finish but after their inability to secure the winning goal their performance deserved against Brighton, they equalled their Premier League record of a 12th consecutive game without victory.

Glenn Murray’s 14th-minute penalty gave the visitors the lead but after Jack Stephens brought Southampton level by scoring his second goal in two games, they failed to capitalise on their momentum.

Eight teams outside of the Premier League’s top eight have already sacked their managers this season, and Pellegrino said: “I am lucky because in this club (the hierarchy) has been working at professional level as a coach and manager. I would like to give them the best result but this is the reality.

“When you are in a difficult situation, the board having confidence in you is one of the most important victories.

“I don’t want to be naive: I know in football we need results but in two or three weeks’ time everything can change and football is like this.

“Obviously for us to draw at home is not enough in this moment.”

Southampton last week confirmed the club-record signing of £19.2million striker Guido Carrillo, who Pellegrino explained only played from half-time because of a lack of match fitness, but Spartak Moscow rejected their offer for £30million-rated winger Quincy Promes.

Asked if he was surprised they had not recruited further players after selling Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool for £75million at the start of the transfer window, he responded: “I think so but we were a little bit unlucky.

“Some players were really close, and at the end the other part of the negotiation say ‘No’. When you have to bring important players, the other club needs time to move and replace him.

“Little by little it is getting worse and bringing players in is not easy.”

Murray’s goal was Brighton’s first away from home in the league for 10 hours and 15 minutes of play, since their 1-0 victory at Swansea at the start of November.

Chris Hughton’s team remain 15th, but only a point clear of 19th-placed Swansea within a group of nine teams separated by only four points, and the Brighton manager said: ‘We can’t rely on picking up points at home to enable us to be in the position we want to be in.

“We have to keep clean sheets or score goals. We posed a threat but lacked guile and quality.”

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