Ralph Hasenhuttl is not capable of digging Southampton out of their current plight, believes former player Jose Fonte.
Saints are second bottom of the Premier League with eight points and have not won in the top flight since September 14.
Their season has already reached terrible lows – the worst moment a 9-0 drubbing at home to Leicester last month.
They are in serious danger of playing Championship football for the first time since they won promotion back into the Premier League in 2012.
It’s a far cry from the days when they were challenging for the European spots and they finished in the top ten for four straight seasons between 2014 and 2017.
However, they have flirted with the drop zone in recent seasons and Fonte, who left St Mary’s in 2017 said it was painful to watch his old club decline.
talkSPORT understands Hasenhuttl still has the full backing of the club’s board but clearly not the backing of Fonte.
When asked about whether he has doubts about Hasenhuttl as Southampton boss, the defender told Jim White: “I do yes. I have to be honest.
“It’s difficult to watch them struggle. It’s painful.
“Southampton was in such great shape two or three years ago. We were consistently achieving top ten.
“What can I say? They’re in a bad way, it’s easy for everyone to see that their confidence is not big.
“The manager, I don’t know, he doesn’t look like he’s capable of turning things round. I’m not sure if he can do the job to be honest.”
At 35 years old, Fonte is entering the twilight years of his career but is still playing at a high level with French club Lille, who are fifth in Ligue 1.
Lille face champions Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes but Fonte believes he and his teammates can stop the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Fonte added: “If you’re going to go it alone against Mbappe then it will be difficult.
“There are not many players in the world that can deal with his pace and ability.
“The good thing is that I have great teammates around me. We have a good manager than can set up a good system and hopefully we can nullify not only Mbappe but Neymar and Icardi, Di Maria and all the other top class players PSG have.”
Southampton are back in action in the Premier League on Saturday as they take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium – and talkSPORT will bring you full LIVE commentary of the match as part of GameDay!
Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT as we bring you THREE live Premier League commentaries across our network, including Arsenal vs Southampton on talkSPORT 2 at 3pm.
LIVE on talkSPORT
Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week
- Fulham vs QPR (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
- West Ham vs Tottenham (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Charlton vs Cardiff (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Arsenal vs Southampton (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Man City vs Chelsea (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Middlesbrough vs Hull (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2