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Nathan Jones: Southampton sack manager after just 14 games and three months in charge

Nathan Jones replaced Ralph Hasenhuttl as Southampton manager in November; former Luton boss lost seven of his eight Premier League games in charge, with his sole win coming against Everton in January; Jones leaves Saints bottom of the Premier League, four points from safety

Nathan Jones vowed to "work religiously" on Southampton's issues
Image: Nathan Jones has lost his job as Southampton manager

Southampton have parted company with Nathan Jones just three months into his first managerial position at a Premier League club.

The former Luton boss took over from Ralph Hasenhuttl in November, shortly before the league paused for the Qatar World Cup.

Jones had guided Saints to the Carabao Cup semi-finals and the FA Cup fifth round, but lost seven of his eight Premier League games in charge, with his sole victory coming against Everton in January.

Southampton lost 2-1 at home to Wolves on Saturday after being undone by a sensational second-half comeback from 10-man Wolves at a hostile St Mary's, with Joao Gomes scoring a late decider to pile more pressure on Jones.

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Before his sacking on Sunday, Nathan Jones said his side should've won against Wolves and revealed the pressures he felt.

Jones went immediately down the tunnel at the full-time whistle, and later described the comeback from Wolves as a "sucker-punch".

A Southampton fan was reportedly kicked out of St Mary's by security on Saturday after waving a giant P45 cut-out at Jones during the dismal loss to Wolves.

Jones, 49, leaves Southampton bottom of the table, with 15 points from 22 games. They are currently four points adrift of safety.

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Also departing with Jones are first-team coaches Chris Cohen and Alan Sheehan.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League match between Southampton and Wolves.

First-team lead Coach Ruben Selles will take charge of training and prepare the team ahead of next weekend's game against Chelsea.

Selles, who holds a UEFA Pro Licence, has previously managed Valencia's U18s, and has served as an assistant manager in Russia, Azerbaijan, Greece and Denmark.

Analysis: Why Jones was destined to fail

Southampton manager Nathan Jones reacts during the Premier League match against Everton at Goodison Park in January
Image: Nathan Jones only oversaw one Premier League win in eight attempts

Sky Sports' Laura Hunter:

There was no grand farewell. Not even a goodbye wave. Nathan Jones retreated immediately down the tunnel at the full-time whistle as Southampton fell to their seventh Premier League defeat in the eight games he had overseen against Wolves on Saturday. His position was simply untenable.

Supporter frustration had quickly evolved into anger and resentment at St Mary's - against Wolves it reached boiling point. For the second time in seven days impassioned fans chanted "get out of our club" at the beleaguered Welshman on the touchline. They meant it - and this time the Southampton hierarchy were in attendance to heed their message.

Jones was an unpopular appointment when first announced as Ralph Hasenhuttl's successor back in November. His name didn't carry the fashionable reputation that someone like Julen Lopetegui's did - the Spaniard was appointed at Wolves five days prior to Jones' unveiling on the south coast.

Wolves were rock bottom back then, but have since risen from the ashes under Lopetegui's astute tutelage and are now a comfortable 15th - five points clear of the drop zone.

Saints, comparatively, have gone backwards. They have regressed in almost all categories, scoring fewer goals, conceding more and offering up more of the ball to their opponents than ever before. They haven't won at home in the league since August. And if alarm bells weren't already ringing, their capitulation against Wolves was enough to compel immediate action. Any sense of faint hope was lost.

Southampton's defeat at Brentford was their sixth in seven league games under Nathan Jones
Image: Southampton have only kept one clean sheet in their last 28 Premier League matches

Jones' playing style has been inconsistent and erratic - you could argue it actually served to unsettle Saints' young, inexperienced squad. At least under Hasenhuttl they had clear structure - a set of guidelines to follow and a clear identity that aligned with the club's pathway and values. The Austrian called it his 'playbook'. Jones had no such blueprint.

When it became clear that Hasenhuttl's time at St Mary's was up, Southampton's search should have centred on a manager who could provide stability and strong leadership at elite level - with a proven track record in a top-flight division. They went with a manager who was alien to the league, to oversee a group of players with very little Premier League knowhow - to illustrate, Saturday's starting XI vs Wolves included only five players who had featured in the division before this season.

Tactical tinkering, ever-changing personnel and formations, as well as poor game management all led to Jones' inevitable demise. There was very little about the appointment that suggested longevity. To his credit, Jones remained defiant and bullish throughout but it was clear early on that he was out of his depth. Emotional rants to the media and bizarre anecdotes also did little to help his credibility.

What perhaps needs further examination, then, is how and why the former Luton Town man found himself in the hotseat in the first place. Of course with hindsight that reasoning, based on metrics and statistics, appears heavily flawed.

Southampton chiefs have a lot to answer for with Rasmus Ankersen, CEO of the club's owners Sport Republic, responsible for initially identifiing Jones as the right man for the job.

Saints have 16 games to save their season - Ankersen's next call will undoubtedly be his toughest and most important yet.

'It was a real toxic atmosphere'

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Darren Lewis and Melissa Reddy discuss Southampton sacking Nathan Jones by after three months in charge.

Darren Lewis on Super Sunday Matchday:

"You could hear the fans chant 'you don't know what you're doing', and it was a real toxic atmosphere. At the stadium, you could feel the unhappiness of the fans for quite some time.

"We've seen the negativity coming out in his post-match press conferences, and it's been a difficult time all round.

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Nathan Jones recenlty said he had 'compromised on principles' at Southampton and claimed Luton under him were one of the best-coached teams in Europe

"He'd struggled perhaps with the jump into the biggest league in the world, the players were shorn of confidence and there were a few messages publicly, which possibly could have been kept in-house.

"But, ultimately, he had to go because he just wasn't winning football matches. The fans were [also] not happy with his style of play and with his tactics."

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