What will Nathan Jones bring to Stoke City?
From his style of football to his man-management skills, we take a look at what Nathan Jones will bring to Stoke City.
By Alex Brodie
Last Updated: 10/01/19 6:00am
Nathan Jones has been appointed Stoke manager after Gary Rowett was sacked on Tuesday, but what will the former Luton boss bring to the Potteries?
The Welshman leaves the Hatters second in the League One table after three years at the club, which included promotion from League Two.
But with only two full seasons as a manager under his belt, what can Stoke expect from the 45-year-old?
Style of football
Jones played for a short time in Spain's second tier in the mid-90s before stints at Southend, Brighton and Yeovil. A fluent Spanish speaker, he was named Oscar Garcia's assistant at Brighton in 2013 and has spoken of how his time in Spain influenced his thinking on the game
In his tenure at Luton he brought a quick-passing, possession-based style to the Bedfordshire club. The Hatters finished as runners-up in League Two last season and, having clocked wins of 8-2, 7-1 and 7-0, scored 94 goals in the process.
He operated a diamond formation at Luton with midfielders rotating and swapping flanks. Though he had wingers in his squad, he tended to use them only as impact substitutions when searching for a goal, rather than as his Plan A. He would play two up front with attacking full-backs providing width.
It certainly worked in League Two and, unbeaten since early October, was going well in League One. Time will tell if Jones chooses to employ the same tactics in the Championship with Stoke.
Though Luton was Jones' first full-time managerial role, he has managed in the Championship before having taken over at Brighton on a caretaker basis after the sacking of Sami Hyypia in December 2014.
He won and drew his two games in charge, but was passed over for the full-time role in favour of Chris Hughton, who went on to lead the club into the Premier League.
What went wrong for Rowett?
With the help of Sky Sports News reporter Rob Dorsett, we take a look at what went wrong for Gary Rowett at Stoke.
Jones stayed on under Hughton until leaving for Luton in January 2016 and credits the Irishman with keeping him on and helping with his development as a coach.
Having also worked under Russell Slade, Gary Johnson and Chris Powell, Jones has learnt from experienced EFL managers. He also knew from early on as a player that he wanted to move into coaching, making notes of training methods and managerial styles.
He thrived in the step-up to management with Luton, but faces a new level scrutiny at the bet365 Stadium.
Working with players
It took time for Jones to get the right squad mix at Luton, but there was always a plan. Players such as Jack Marriott, Olly Lee, Stephen O'Donnell and Cameron McGeehan were sold on, but always with replacements in mind.
At Stoke, he will be in a whole new level of spending power. He will inherit a large squad, though, that has already had money pumped into it. Whether he tries to trim it down - as it did successfully at Luton - or bring in his own players immediately will be crucial to implementing his long-term vision.
In terms of attracting new talent, Jones was often mentioned as a reason for players moving to Kenilworth Road while he also improved many of those already at the club. With youth, he brought on several young players, most notably full-back James Justin, who attracted interest from Nottingham Forest last summer.
If players did not take to his methods, or felt he was not giving them enough game-time, he was not afraid to move them on. They had to have a certain character and buy into the project.
With big-name internationals and ex-Premier League players on big contracts at Stoke, one of his first tasks will be to assert early on the mentality he wants to instill.
Stoke's new manager may lack the experience of others mentioned in the running for the role, but the club deserve credit for putting faith in one of the EFL's top young managers who will be determined to show he can continue his swift rise up the ranks in management.