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Last Updated: Monday, 18 February 2008, 17:23 GMT
Pearson appointed Saints manager
Nigel Pearson
Pearson left Newcastle following the arrival of Kevin Keegan as manager
Nigel Pearson has been named as the new manager of Southampton in the wake of the 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

The former Newcastle assistant manager has signed a rolling contract, and takes over from caretaker duo John Gorman and Jason Dodd.

Gorman and Dodd were put in charge after George Burley left to become the new Scotland boss in January.

The club have confirmed the pair will remain as part of the backroom staff.

Pearson is a winner and will instil that mentality in the players

Saints chairman Leon Crouch

The Saints had previously declared Gorman and Dodd would remain in charge for the "foreseeable future," but Saturday's FA Cup defeat caused chairman Leon Crouch to act sooner than expected.

"It was clear that the uncertainty of the management situation was having a detrimental effect on the players and so we have decided to bring in a new man," Crouch told the club website.

"I believe [Pearson] is the right man to steady the ship and get us moving up the table once more.

"He is a winner and will instil that mentality in the players."

606: DEBATE
Big_Si_SFC

However, former Southampton boss Dave Merrington admitted the appointment came as a shock.

"It's come as a surprise to me and it'll certainly come as a surprise to the fans, especially in Southampton's precarious position," he told BBC Radio Solent.

"Obviously it's because of the limited finance, and really, he's inexperienced."

Saints Trust spokesman Nick Illingsworth also held reservations about Pearson's appointment, believing the fans will need to be convinced about the move.

"The appointment most people were looking for was a 'name' manager, the likes of Iain Dowie, Chris Coleman or even Kevin Blackwell," said Illingsworth.

It's come as a surprise to me and it'll certainly come as a surprise to the fans

Ex-Saints boss Dave Merrington

"We had hoped for someone of that nature. This is a new way forward and it's either going to work spectacularly well or see great failure."

Pearson was brought to Newcastle in 2006 by then-manager Glenn Roeder, and remained there throughout Sam Allardyce's brief reign.

The 44-year-old's previous roles included being assistant manager at West Bromwich Albion, and taking charge of the England Under-21s for their 3-3 draw with Italy last year.

Southampton lie 18th in the Championship and host Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday.

SEE ALSO
Coach Pearson departs Newcastle
09 Feb 08 |  Newcastle United
Saints manager search put on hold
07 Feb 08 |  Southampton
Gorman and Dodd take Saints roles
24 Jan 08 |  Southampton
Pearson relishing Wembley honour
23 Mar 07 |  Internationals
Pearson stands down at West Brom
17 Oct 06 |  West Bromwich Albion


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