The Saints board face a massive decision as they try and find a replacement for Mauricio Pochettino.

They need somebody with the gravitas and vision to quell the sense of unease in the squad and to continue the progress the club have made over the past few years.

They will face the inevitable question as to whether to go for a British manager or to look to someone from overseas.

Here the Daily Echo looks at the bookies’ top tips to take over at St Mary’s and their careers so far:

Malky Mackay

The former Scotland international defender, who won silverware as a player at Celtic, Watford, Norwich and West Ham, has made an impressive breakthrough as a manager.

He landed the job as Watford boss after Brendan Rodgers left for Reading and did a good enough job to convince Cardiff to appoint him as manager in 2011.

Mackay guided his side to a League Cup final and into the Premier League.

However, he was sacked at the end of December after Cardiff were beaten 3-0 at home by Saints.


Michael Laudrup

The much decorated former Lazio, Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid player has great managerial experience across Europe.

Laudrup took his first steps into the dugout with Brondby before spells with Getafe, Spartak Moscow, Mallorca and then Swansea, where he was appointed in 2012 after Brendan Rodgers moved to Liverpool.

He guided Swansea to the League Cup in 2013 and was credited with a style of football fairly similar to Mauricio Pochettino’s.

Laudrup also picked up Michu for a bargain €2.5m, but was sacked in February.


Murat Yakin

Has risen to prominence after guiding FC Basel, with whom he enjoyed his best years as a player, to home and away Champions League victories over Chelsea in 2013.

Yakin has won various domestic cups and titles as both a player and manager with FC Basel but has yet to manage outside of his home country of Switzerland.


Rafa Benitez

Has all the experience you could wish for after spells with some of the biggest clubs in the world having won a huge array of trophies.

Benitez began managing at Real Madrid B before stints at Valladolid, Osasuna, Extremadura, Tenerife and Valencia and then moved to England for a six year spell at Liverpool, which included guiding them to the Champions League.

He went on to manage Inter Milan, Chelsea on a temporary basis, and is now at Napoli but is said to be keen on a return to the Premier League.


Roberto Di Matteo

Was regularly linked to the Saints managerial post when Nicola Cortese was the club’s executive chairman.

The former Italian international, best known for his spell at Chelsea, has managed at three clubs in England with MK Dons, West Brom and Chelsea.

As Chelsea’s interim boss he led the club to the FA Cup and Champions League titles, but has been out of work since being appointed permanently and then sacked by the club.


Steve McClaren

May not have enjoyed the best of times as England manager but it was domestic spells as assistant to Alex Ferguson at Manchester United and as boss of Middlesbrough that won him the chance to lead his country.

Has managed abroad as well with spells in Holland at FC Twente and VFL Wolfsburg in Germany as well as a brief spell at Nottingham Forest before landing the job at Derby last September.

He led them to the play-off final this season but they were beaten by QPR.


Alan Pardew

Well known to Saints fans for his spell in charge of the club.

The former Crystal Palace player has enjoyed a good managerial career with Reading, West Ham, Charlton, Saints and Newcastle, though his stock has taken a hit with the Magpies.

At Saints he was credited with building up much of the squad and ethos that still exists today and creating the platform to launch them from League One back to the Premier League.

He was sacked by Nicola Cortese and replaced by Nigel Adkins but did win the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.


Paco Jemez

The former Spanish international centre half has managed a string of clubs in Spain and has made a name for himself after a good spell in charge of Rayo Vallecano where he is under contract for one more year.


David Moyes

Technically on the market after his sacking from Manchester United, but unclear how soon he wishes to return to management after his spell at Old Trafford.

Moyes famously cut his teeth as manager at Preston before a hugely impressive 11 years at Everton where he regularly had them fighting slightly above their weight.

Was appointed United manager after Alex Ferguson’s retirement but had a nightmare first season and was axed before the end of the campaign.


Eddie Howe

Is rated as one of the brightest young managers in the game, but hasn’t had any top level experience yet.

Howe is a legend at Bournemouth where he was a classy and reliable centre half and has thrived as manager in two spells with the club.

He led them to promotion to League One in 2010 before a stint as Burnley manager.

Howe returned to the Cherries in 2012 and led them into the Championship where they are doing superbly, all of which has been achieved on a shoestring budget.


Neil Lennon

The former Northern Ireland international has proved a huge success as a manager at Celtic but has now quit the Scottish giants after four years in charge.

As a player the midfielder won the League Cup with Leicester and a host of domestic honours with Celtic.As the club’s manager he won three back-to-back Scottish Premier League titles and two Scottish Cups.


Tim Sherwood

His first experience of management ended on a sour note when he was sacked by Tottenham two days after the end of the season.

Sherwood, who won the Premier League title with Blackburn as a player, was appointed Spurs boss in December after the departure of Andre Villas-Boas.

He won half of his 28 games in charge but his outspoken nature is reported to have ruffled a few feathers at White Hart Lane and he was given the sack quickly after the campaign came to an end.


Gus Poyet

Had a glittering career as a player but has a bit of a chequered history with Saints as he became something of a hate figure when he was Brighton manager as the clubs were rivals going up through the divisions.

Brighton pipped Nigel Adkins’ Saints to the League One title in 2011 but after leaving the club under something of a cloud he was appointed Sunderland boss in October with the sole aim of keeping them up, which he managed to do with one game remaining.


Oscar Garcia

Garcia is a much sought after manager at the moment after leaving Brighton at the end of the season.

Garcia had a playing career that included stints at Barcelona and Espanyol.

His management career saw him start at Macabi Tel Aviv in Israel before switching to Brighton, who he guided to the play-offs.

He resigned following their semi-final exit and is now being heavily linked with the vacancies at Celtic and Malaga.