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Last Updated: Friday, 13 February, 2004, 12:51 GMT
Strachan leaves Southampton
Steve Wigley takes the reins at Southampton
Steve Wigley takes the reins at Southampton
Southampton boss Gordon Strachan has quit the Premiership club with immediate effect.

The club have released a statement confirming that Strachan has left three months ahead of his planned departure.

But speculation that Glenn Hoddle will return to the club is premature - with reserve team boss Steve Wigley handed the reins until the end of the season.

Chairman Rupert Lowe will then choose a successor - with Hoddle and Plymouth boss Paul Sturrock in the frame.

Strachan was due to step down at the end of the season on health grounds - but he believes leaving now was the best course of action to take.

The chairman and I feel this to be the best course of action
Gordon Strachan

"This is a truly great club with a truly great squad of professionals and it is with regret that I am leaving for my own reasons," Strachan told the club's website.

"Steve Wigley will do a first class job between now and the end of the season and I fully support his interim appointment.

"The chairman and I feel this to be the best course of action.

"I hope the media will now allow the club to fully concentrate on the remaining fixtures of this season while the chairman works to appoint my successor."

Lowe revealed he met with Strachan on Thursday and decided it was in the club's best interests to part company.

"Gordon and I met and have both concluded that it is in the best interests of the club for him to step down as manager with effect from Friday," said Lowe.

"Gordon has done a great job for us during his two-and-a-half years tenure and, unusually in football, leaves us on the very best of terms.

"He and his family will always be welcome at our club while I remain chairman."

BBC Five Live's Andy Swiss
"Steve Wigley will take charge until the end of the season"

Hoddle plea to Saints fans
13 Feb 04  |  Southampton
Hoddle splits opinion
10 Feb 04  |  Southampton

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