Hughes, 54, has been out of work since being fired by Stoke City in January but it is hoped the former Southampton striker (Hughes scored twice in 52 Premier League appearances in a deeper midfield role for Saints from 1998-00) can galvanize a talented squad and pull them through in the final eight games of the season.
The team, who are now one point outside the relegation zone, have taken on the form of their coach in recent months in that they've become nearly entirely anonymous, with no recognisable approach or identity to speak of.
Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier believes Mauricio Pellegrino was sacked because of his negative style of football.
The 46-year-old arrived at St Mary's as the replacement for Claude Puel, who was sacked despite guiding Southampton to an eighth-place finish and the League Cup final.
Former Watford boss Marco Silva instantly emerged as the frontrunner to succeed the Argentine on Monday night.
Southampton were thrashed 3-0 by fellow strugglers Newcastle United at the weekend and head to fellow strugglers West Ham United on March 31 in their next Premier League match.
From the beginning I tried to do my best every single day, I tried to give back to the club and tried to represent the club with pride.
Given that the Saints only have eight league games to go then club legend, and caretaker, Kelvin Davis could well be an option until the end of the season. The manager is the face of a lot of decisions and actions, but I always tried to put the club first with my technical staff and the board behind me.
The club finished eighth in the Premier League a year ago and reached the final of the League Cup.
Southampton have won only once in their last 17 EPL outings, though the team have qualified for the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.