Jones vows to make swift changes in bid to save Southampton

Nathan Jones vows to make swift changes in bid to lift Southampton off the bottom of the table after compromising his methods to please players and fans

  • Nathan Jones will stop taking his players views on board and stick to his guns
  • Jones says he has compromised on the methods that worked wonders at Luton
  • He did the same thing at Stoke, too, and it didn’t work as he only last 10 months 

Nathan Jones has been here before. And while that might not fill fans with hope given rock-bottom Southampton’s predicament, what happened in the past could give them something to cling to.

His way has produced results in the past. It will now be his way or the highway at St Mary’s.

Jones says he has compromised on the methods that worked wonders at Luton, taking on board his players’ views rather than sticking to his guns. He did the same thing at Stoke, too, and it didn’t work. He lasted 10 months there.

Jones has now reached that crossroads at Southampton.

‘It’s got to change quickly,’ Jones said in a typically honest response to this chastening defeat by Brentford. 

Pressure continues to grow on Nathan Jones after Southampton suffered a heavy defeat

Then, referring to his Luton days, he added: ‘Statistically, there weren’t any better than me around Europe in terms of aggression, clean sheets, defending your box, balls in the box, expected goals. We were pound for pound the best because we were spending next to nothing.’

So, expect changes at Southampton. It could be tactical, with a 4-4-2 diamond a favoured Jones formation, with flying full backs and high-tempo football.

Southampton have not produced that nearly enough under Jones, not that they were winning many league games before he arrived. 

Brentford goals from Ben Mee, Bryan Mbeumo and Mathias Jensen condemned them to a deserved hiding here.

Can Jones’s old approach now save Saints’ Premier League status? Time will tell. There was an irony to Southampton’s season hitting a new low at Brentford. 

Jones once had his admirers there, including former Bees chief Rasmus Ankersen, who eventually got his man now he is a key decision-maker at Southampton.

Brentford eventually stuck with then interim boss Thomas Frank in 2018, a decision that has paid off handsomely. The next step on their remarkable journey under Frank could be European football.

On his under-fire counterpart Jones, Frank said: ‘He is a fantastic manager. I’ve met him several times in the Championship. He worked wonders with Luton. I’m sure he can turn them around.’ 

He will need to make changes, and fast, to do so.

Southampton were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Brentford on Saturday afternoon


Brentford (4-3-3): Raya 7.5; Hickey 5.5 (Roerslev 61min, 6), Pinnock 8, Mee 8.5, Henry 8; Norgaard 8, Jensen 8.5 (Damsgaard 82), Dasilva 7.5 (Janelt 61, 6); Mbeumo 8 (Zanka 82), Toney 7.5, Wissa 8 (Schade 74, 6.5). 

Scorers: Mee 41, Mbeumo 44, Jensen 80. 

Booked: Toney. 

Manager: Thomas Frank 8.

Southampton (4-2-3-1): Bazunu 6; Bree 6, Bednarek 6, Salisu 7.5, Perraud 6; Lavia 6.5 (Alcaraz 65, 5.5), Diallo 5.5 (Onuachu 46, 6.5); Edozie 6 (Walcott 65, 6.5), Ward-Prowse 6.5, Elyounoussi 6 (Sulemana 46, 6.5); Adams 5 (Armstrong 81). 

Booked: Lavia, Salisu. 

Manager: Nathan Jones 6.

Referee: Darren Bond. 

Attendance: 17,501.

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