Mark Hughes has revealed he's tried to sign a number of the Southampton players in the past, and is excited to finally have the chance to manage them following his appointment at St Mary’s.
The 54-year-old Welshman has agreed a contract with the club until the end of the season, overseeing his first training session at Staplewood Campus on Thursday.
Hughes believes he already has a good knowledge of the squad he is inheriting, and is looking forward to getting to know them on a day-to-day basis.
“I know a great deal about them from coming up against Southampton over the years,” he said.
“You get a real understanding of what they’re about and the style of play.
“If I’m honest, I’ve probably tried to sign half of them but haven’t quite got them over the line.
“I know a lot of the qualities these players possess, so it’s going to be good to get the opportunity to finally work with some of the players I missed out on with previous clubs.”
Hughes takes charge of his first game on Sunday, as Saints travel to Wigan in the Emirates FA Cup – a competition he won four times as a player.
“From our point of view, we haven’t got enough time to do a gradual process – we have to hit the ground running,” he added.
“Undoubtedly, we’ve got good players here. Players that, for whatever reason, have found it more of a struggle this year.
“We’ll get down to the reasons why, but these players have the ability to win games in the Premier League and that’s what we intend to do.
“I don’t think we need to show any apprehension. We need to go out, express ourselves, show our ability and manage the game.
“I’m here to get the job done and make sure we’re in the Premier League next year.”