Southampton confirm appointment of Nathan Jones following Ralph Hasenhuttl sacking

New Southampton manager Nathan Jones in the stands during a match Credit: Alamy
New Southampton manager Nathan Jones in the stands during a match Credit: Alamy

Premier League club Southampton have confirmed the appointment of Nathan Jones as their new manager.

Former Luton boss Jones, 49, had been widely expected to take charge after the Saints sacked predecessor Ralph Hasenhuttl on Monday.

A club statement read: “Southampton Football Club is delighted to announce it has appointed Nathan Jones as its new men’s first-team manager.

“The 49-year-old joins from Luton Town, signing a three-and-a-half-year contract at St Mary’s, where he will also be joined by first-team coaches Chris Cohen and Alan Sheehan.”

Saints had been given permission to approach Jones following Luton’s Sky Bet Championship defeat at Stoke on Tuesday and the Welshman will take charge of Saturday’s Premier League game at Liverpool.

Jones, who guided Luton to the Championship play-offs last season, said: “I’m really proud to be given this opportunity.

“I know a lot about the club from back in the days of The Dell, to coming here to St Mary’s, and it’s a wonderful football club.

“A lot of my family are Southampton fans, which doesn’t half help, and I feel really, really proud to be given the opportunity, and I’m really looking forward to getting started.”

Hasenhuttl, who had been appointed in December 2018, was sacked after Sunday’s 4-1 home defeat to Newcastle had left them in the bottom three, with just one win in their last nine league games.

Former Brighton and Yeovil midfielder Jones has had two spells in charge of Luton, winning promotion from League Two before becoming Stoke boss in 2019.

Jones returned to Kenilworth Road 18 months later and guided them to a sixth-placed finish in the Championship last season before they lost to Huddersfield in the play-off semi-finals.

He added: “Obviously, I wanted to manage in the Premier League, I’ve dreamt of that since I’ve become a coach or a manager.

“But this club in particular – because of how it’s run, because of the structure, because of how they look deeper than just results – really appeals to me.”

Interim boss for the cup clash, Ruben Selles, said afterwards that Jones is inheriting a “good team”.

Saints laboured to a 1-1 draw with the Owls in 90 minutes after James Ward-Prowse’s penalty cancelled out Josh Windass’ opener before their blushes were spared by Alex McCarthy saving from Dominic Iorfa in a 6-5 shoot-out success.

Spaniard Selles, who is yet to meet Welshman Jones, said: “This team is a good team. It’s not a team of young players or a team who has no quality or whatever.

“This team is a great team of persons. This team is a team that can do great things but everything needs time in this life and when you’re building a new team, it’s never easy in the beginning.

“Some of those boys need patience. That’s what we need to learn, to be a little bit more patient in the situations when we want to build something good.

“I know sometimes this growing process is not hand by hand with the competing, with the score, with the need to win every game.”

Hasenhuttl was sacked after Sunday’s 4-1 hammering by Newcastle left Southampton in the relegation zone.

Jones quickly emerged as the frontrunner for the vacancy and he posed for photos with home fans before kick-off, having taken charge of Luton’s 2-0 loss at Stoke on Tuesday evening.

Despite the unconvincing manner in which Saints progressed to the last 16, Selles declared it “mission accomplished” as he hailed the unity within the squad.

“One of the big things tonight that you saw, it was a team spirit, a team together, everybody celebrating because it’s a small big victory,” he said.

“If you lose today then it’s a big loss, if you win that’s what needs to be done. We didn’t expect to win it that late. Second half, we had chances to finish it before.

“It didn’t happen and in the penalties we did it so it was a well done, it’s mission accomplished for everybody – not only about going through to the next round but also about feelings, togetherness, performance and we got everything we wanted from the game.”

Wednesday, who sit third in League One, were the last club from outside the top division to lift the League Cup following victory over Manchester United in the 1991 final.

The Owls will turn attention back to their promotion push after coming so close to an upset.

Manager Darren Moore said: “I’m really proud of the performance tonight. We played some good stuff against real good Premier League opposition.

“We took them all the way. I’ve got no complaints with the players, I thought we gave a good account of ourselves. We are disappointed but we have to take the positives out of it.”

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