FORMER Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong faces the prospect of playing for his FOURTH manager in just over two years.
The Scotland international, who joined Southampton for £7million in the summer, came on as an 82nd-minute substitute as the Premier League strugglers crashed 6-1 to Manchester City at The Etihad yesterday.
Boss Mark Hughes, who shelled out for 26-year-old Armstrong, is under massive pressure following the team’s seventh consecutive defeat.
Gordon Strachan has been installed as one of the bookies’ favourite to replace the under-pressure coach.
If the former Hoops gaffer got the job, he would be boss No.4 following Ronny Deila, who brought Armstrong to the champions from Dundee United in January 2015, and Brendan Rodgers who succeeded the Norwegian in May 2016.
Strachan is popular with the Saints fans after leading the club to the English Cup Final and a place in Europe when he was previously in charge between 2001 and 2004.
The 61-year-old former Aberdeen and Manchester United midfielder has also managed Coventry City, Middlesbrough and, most recently, Scotland, but has been out of work since leaving the international post last year.
Coincidentally, another one-time Parkhead boss, Martin O’Neill, has also been linked with the job as has ex-Celt David Moyes – if Hughes fails to turn things around.
The Welshman, who was axed as Stoke City manager following last season’s relegation, must hate the sight of The Etihad – he lost 7-2 in his previous visit with the Potteries outfit just over 12 months ago.
He will be in the spotlight again when Watford visit St Mary’s on Saturday with the Saints fifth from bottom on seven points.