New Men’s First Team Manager Nathan Jones has “guaranteed” what supporters can expect to see from their side during the Welshman’s tenure, as he prepares to take charge of his first match against Liverpool on Saturday.
With Jones on the touchline for what is the final match before the Premier League’s mid-season break, the new boss has issued a message to fans ahead of the weekend in Merseyside.
“If they just keep an open mind and buy into stuff. I understand there is going to be negativity and people will list names and X, Y and Z. I can’t affect that, and it doesn’t bother me in anyway.
“I’m more substance than name, not saying I always will be, but I know where I’ve come from, why I’m here and will be doing it to the best of my ability.
“I’m excited about changing opinion, or reversing the negative trend, and that’s what I’ve had to do in my career because I’ve always been an underdog and I’ve enjoyed that.”
Working with the full group for the first time on Friday before heading north, Jones admits preparation for the clash with the Reds is limited, but is looking forward to a first outing on the touchline as Saints’ manager.
“I can’t do groundbreaking work in basically a day,” he said. “Yesterday we couldn’t because of the game on Wednesday and the amount of people who played in the game and yesterday was a recovery day anway, so I only get today to work with them.
“It will not be some categorical shift in how Southampton play, but what there will be is, I hope, an uplift in energy. I hope that they work for the club and work for me.
“it’s one of the toughest places to go in Europe, Anfield, but what a great start and that’s what you have to embrace. You can be scared by it, excited by it, or can be motivated by it and I’m definitely one of those.”