Mark Hughes is delighted he made the “high risk” decision to join Southampton with the club fighting for its Premier League survival in March.
The boss has since signed a three-year contract after successfully guiding the club to safety, but admits he inherited a tricky situation with just eight league games to play.
Saints still had matches remaining against Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City, but Hughes said his emotional ties to the club played a key part in tempting him to St Mary’s.
“It was high risk, if I’m honest, in terms of my position,” he reflected. “It could’ve gone poorly, but I wasn’t really thinking about that.
“It was a different situation and a difficult decision on a few levels.
“I’d just left one position to go into another situation where it could’ve gone in a different way, and the club may well have had a different result at the end of the season, which nobody wanted.
“But it was a club I had played for and I just felt I’d be able to help them with the difficult situation they found themselves in.
“I think that certainly helped, and it was a key part of my decision when I decided to take up the offer to come in when I did. Thankfully, we all came together and I really enjoyed it.
“I felt there was a real sense of what I experienced as a player when we were in difficult circumstances during my time here: everybody pulled together and tried to go in the right direction to get us out of the situation, and that’s exactly what happened.”