Nathan Jones loses confidence in the Southampton squad and unsettles the board with rants about being ‘Best in Europe’ in Luton
NATHAN JONES is losing the confidence of Southampton players – although the boss will remain at St Mary’s.
Under Fire Jones appears to have received a stay of execution from the Saints’ owners, at least for now, despite a disastrous start on the South Coast.
Jones’ position was discussed by the Saints board over the weekend, with many of them unnerved by his comments following the Brentford defeat.
But SunSport can reveal that Southampton players were unfazed by Jones even before his extraordinary remarks after the 3-0 defeat at Brentford.
The majority of the club’s first team have repeatedly questioned his tactics in conversation.
They believe his coaching is not at the level of former boss Ralph Hasenhuttl, who was sacked after four years at the club.
Southampton players favored Jones’ warmer personality compared to Hasenhuttl, who was seen by some as cold and arrogant.
However, Hasenhuttl has earned respect from the players for his tactics and that is generally not the case for Jones, 49, who has lost six of his seven Premier League games since taking charge in November.
There is believed to be a core of British players, including captain James Ward-Prowse, who still support the Welshman.
A surprise appointment by the club’s Sport Republic, Jones has managed just one win against Everton.
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But eyebrows were raised within the squad when four first-team players, including Mislav Orisc, who was signed in January, were picked to play for the B-Team on Friday.
Duje Caleta-Car, Moussa Djenepo and Armel Bella-Kotchap all stood next to the children.
He then infuriated the players after Saturday’s loss to Brentford, saying they were one of the reasons he hadn’t switched to his so-called preferred style.
Jones said: “I compromised certain principles because of the staff, but also because of the way people want to play – because of the fans.
“I’ve been very successful playing a fluid style, Luton was a really aggressive front foot team. Statistically, there weren’t many better than me in Europe in terms of aggression, keeping clean, defending the box, balls in the box, XG and all those things.
“We were the best pound for pound because we spent next to nothing and produced so much. I walked away from it because it’s the Premier League and because of certain players and internationals.
“I’ve had to compromise on certain things and I won’t do that again.”
The Saints are at home with Wolves on Saturday, but before that the Southampton leadership will face the fans in a tickets-only fan forum on Tuesday night.
Director of Football Rasmus Ankersen, CEO Henrik Kraft, CEO Martin Semmens and CEO Toby Steele will address 100 season ticket holders at St Mary’s Stadium.
The event will not be streamed live by the club, although a replay will be released in the coming days.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7320530/jones-losing-confidence-southampton-squad-rant/ Nathan Jones loses confidence in the Southampton squad and unsettles the board with rants about being ‘Best in Europe’ in Luton