Nathan Jones: Southampton sack manager after just three months in charge

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Southampton sack manager Nathan Jones – PA/Kieran Cleeves© PA/Kieran Cleeves
Southampton 1-2 Wolves: Jones’ last BBC interview as Saints boss before sacking

Southampton have sacked manager Nathan Jones after just three months in charge of the Premier League club.

Former Luton Town boss Jones, 49, leaves with Saints bottom of the table after Saturday’s loss to 10-men Wolves.

The Welshman lost nine of the 14 matches he oversaw in all competitions following his appointment on 10 November.

That record included eight defeats in nine Premier League games and four successive home losses at St Mary’s.

First-team coaches Chris Cohen and Alan Sheehan have also left the club, while lead coach Ruben Selles will take charge of Saturday’s Premier League match at Chelsea.

Despite leading 1-0 with a man advantage on Saturday, Jones watched his side slump to a home defeat against fellow strugglers Wolves which was greeted with boos from the Saints fans at the full-time whistle.

He walked straight down the tunnel, rather than applaud the home support, and said after the match he did not know if it would be his last game in charge.

“I have never done that in my life before,” Jones said of his decision to immediately leave for the dressing room.

“In 390 games, I have never done that. But I am not sure if me going round clapping would have shown respect.”

Southampton supporters had chanted “you’re getting sacked in the morning” and “Nathan Jones, get out of our club” after their previous league defeat at Brentford.

Jones gave an emotional response to that 3-0 loss, saying he had “let the players down”.

“I haven’t really put my own stamp on it and I should have by now,” Jones told the BBC’s Match of the Day programme.

“I want to be brutally honest with this – I have let the players down.”

Jones succeeded Ralph Hasenhuttl in November on a three-and-a-half-year contract after leaving Championship side Luton.

He lost four of his first five matches in charge, with the only victory in that run a 2-1 EFL Cup win over League One Lincoln.

But three wins in the space of a week over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup, Manchester City in the EFL Cup and Everton in the Premier League, then suggested Jones might have turned their fortunes around, only for back to back league defeats to end his reign.

Jones made his name during two successful spells with Luton, either side of an ill-fated 38 matches in charge of Stoke City.

He initially took over at Kenilworth Road in 2016 with the Hatters struggling in League Two, guiding them to second in League One, before being tempted to make the step up to the Championship with Stoke in 2019.

After winning just six of those 38 matches, Jones returned to a Luton side 23rd in the Championship, helping them stay up on the final day of the 2019-20 season.

He then led them to last season’s Championship play-offs, where they were beaten by Huddersfield Town in the semi-finals, and signed a new five-year deal with the Hatters last January.


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