Nathan Jones reaction after drawing Newcastle United in Carabao Cup semi-final
A harsh introduction to life in the Premier League for Nathan Jones.
Taking over at Southampton on 10 November, the Saints one of the relegation favourites, then losing his first four PL matches in charge.
The most recent was on 4 January, a home loss to fellow relegation strugglers Forest, leaving Southampton rock bottom of the Premier League on only 12 points, Nathan Jones already under massive pressure.
The only light relief for the new Saints boss has been the cups.
A 2-1 Carabao Cup fourth round 2-1 win over Lincoln, then at the weekend a relative surprise, as Southampton won 2-1 at Crystal Palace in the FA Cup third round.
However, none of that could have prepared anybody for last night. Nathan Jones and his Southampton team winning 2-0 against Manchester City and the visitors not even having a single shot on target!
Into the semi-finals then and the draw made last night after that Southampton win, the Saints drawing Newcastle United and Nathan Jones giving his reaction:
“The Semi-final is going to be tough, tough, tough.
“Though it won’t be any tougher than playing Manchester City.
“I watched the game where Newcastle were here (NUFC won 4-1 at Southampton) prior to my appointment and we have got to be better than that.
“It’s over two games but what a wonderful tie.
“At St Mary’s first and then we go to one of the cathedrals of English football, with close to sixty thousand in there.
“What a wonderful occasion.
“A semi-final of a cup and it is a good feeling.”
Nathan Jones on winning 2-0 against Man City:
“I’m really pleased with the performance.
“I thought we were excellent as a team.
“I thought right from start to finish we were aggressive, we were organised, we went after the game, scoring two very good goals.”
Southampton fans now seeing a kind of identity of the type of football there will be under Nathan Jones?
“It will take time because immediately, perception sometimes kicks in.
“When someone kicks the ball long, suddenly I have turned into Billy the Fish.
“That isn’t right.
“If you go back through my management history, I played a diamond where we had 70% possession, the highest scorers in Europe, apart from Barcelona and Manchester City.
“I want to build something here, I want to build a free flowing fluid attacking side and that isn’t going to happen overnight.
“The manager (Pep Guardiola) I have come up against tonight, has had time to buy, he has created one of the greatest teams of all time.
“That didn’t happen in four weeks.
“So I don’t know what people expect in four weeks?
“I’m not David Blaine, I can’t produce magic like Paul Daniels. I need time….and if I get that I will give them a team that they can be proud of.
“It’s a proud moment for me because to go up against him (Pep Guardiola) and to be on the same level of him is wonderful, it’s what I have worked very, very hard over my 33 year career to do.
“I have been in tough situations.
“I was at Stoke City, which is possibly one of the toughest places you can manage, for reasons which you have no idea about.
“But I have come through that and I’m better equipped for that because I learned.
“I am a born again Christian, so I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and he gives me faith every day.
“I have consummate faith in my own ability, regardless of anyone else, because I’ve never relied on anyone else.
“It has been a tough week and a tough little time but you have just got to believe in what you do.
“If you believe in what you do, then that is the only thing that matters.”
Nathan Jones, an interesting character.
A born again Christian and references to Billy The Fish, David Blaine and Paul Daniels.
Southampton will hope for more of the same magic as they pulled out of the hat against Man City BUT in Eddie Howe, Newcastle United have somebody who has performed minor miracles this past year, never mind pulling a rabbit out of a hat.
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