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Southampton Appoint Frenchman Claude Puel As New Manager On 3-Year Deal

Claude Puel

club have announced the signing of Claude Puel as their new coach after joined earlier this month.

Southampton roped in the services of Puel on a three-year contract from the French club OGC Nice. Before joining the Premier League side, Puel guided his former French club Nice to a fourth-place finish in last season. Puel has been coupled with Eric Black, who has been selected as the new Assistant Manager for Southampton.

As a part of the backroom coaching staff Dave Watson has renewed his contract with the club and will be joined by Pascal Plancque as the new First Team Assistant Coach of Southampton.

Apart from his managerial career, Puel has featured in 500 matches for Monaco in all competitions in a total of 17 seasons. He stepped into the managerial post with the club in 1999 and helped Monaco to clinch the Ligue 1 title in the year 2000.

He took his managerial career forward with Lille and after spending 6 seasons at the club he switched to in 2008. Puel played a pivotal role in guiding Lyon to their first ever Champions League semi-final in the year 2010 before joining Nice.

Executive Director of Les Reed said: “The process to appoint a new First Team Manager has been diligent and meticulous. In order to ensure we appointed a manager who would meet our needs as a club, feedback from the dressing room, as well as taking account of our culture, vision and values, was critical in drawing up our criteria for the appointment.

“As the process eliminated a number of excellent candidates, Claude clearly came out on top of a very impressive shortlist. We have not only got the best man, but the right coaching team to support him.

“Eric Black has an excellent pedigree as a coach and vast experience domestically and internationally. Pascal Plancque has an excellent record as a technical coach and, like Claude, has been responsible for developing many young French talents into top quality players.

“The development of our young Academy players and delivering a pathway to the first team is key to the role. We were keen to appoint a coaching team who would also work closely with Martin Hunter and Radhi Jaïdi in accelerating the development of our youngsters, as well as developing our current first-team squad as individuals and as a team.

“We have an excellent group of first-team players who are keen to take another step forward. There is already a confidence and excitement in the building as some of the squad has returned for testing and they are in great shape.

“Claude has a fantastic platform to work from and is aware that our ambition is to repeat and improve on our performances in the Premier League over the past three seasons.

“Claude has a track record of improving the situations he has been presented with and we are confident he can repeat this at Southampton.

“His Champions League and European experience will be valuable in our challenge this coming season and with the support of our excellent staff at the club I am sure he will do well.

“We are once again excited about what the new season will bring, and we will continue to chase records as we have done in recent years.”

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