Pressure grows on Wigley after points target slips

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The Independent Football

Steve Wigley will be expected to step down as Southampton's head coach if they fail to beat Crystal Palace next Saturday.

Steve Wigley will be expected to step down as Southampton's head coach if they fail to beat Crystal Palace next Saturday.

A board meeting this week will discuss the team's performance under Wigley. The Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe wants to give Wigley every chance as a coach but,will make changes swiftly if there is no improvement.

Wigley saved his job with the victory over Portsmouth but his target was nine points from five games, starting with the draw away to Arsenal, but the defeat at Norwich City on Saturday means he can only total eight by beating Iain Dowie's side.

The chairman may accept the revised total if Palace are well beaten. Lowe will approach Glenn Hoddle only after the game. However, the former manager wants the job and he is Lowe's first choice.

The rest of the board opposed the idea of Hoddle's return after the departures of Gordon Strachan and Paul Sturrock but, wanting to retain the club's 26-year-old top-flight status, they now think differently.

Despite Lowe's reputation in dealing with managers, he has sacked only one, Stuart Gray. If Wigley has to step down, he may be offered his former role as head of the club's successful academy or another position under Hoddle.

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