No sooner had the final whistle sounded at Anfield than Nathan Jones’s thoughts immediately turned to how he could use the Premier League’s unprecedented six-week mid-season break to build his Southampton team.
The new manager took a first-hand look at the side he’s inherited in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool, later saying he was encouraged by the spirit on display as Saints pushed and pushed for a way back into the contest.
The planning starts now for Jones and his coaching staff, as the players take some time off before returning for a mini pre-season when the new boss can really get his teeth into imparting his ideas.
“I know there’s a lot of work to do, but I also know that I’ve got a lot of tools moving forward,” he said.
“Now we’ve got a chunk of time where we can do real good work and be right up against them. I’m looking forward to when they come back and really hitting the ground running.
“We’ll do a lot of planning now, and then we’ve got a month, we’ve got some games, and an exciting time. I’m really, really looking forward to it.
“I’m excited by the club. I wouldn’t have come here if I wasn’t brave, I would’ve sat at a wonderful football club with a team that know me, that know everything.
“I wanted to come here because I believe we can do something. We’re going to have to get points quickly, but we’ve got games coming up that I believe we can get points in, and then we can start building something.”
Jones applauded the sold-out away end at the end of the game against Liverpool, and is confident of developing a team the Saints supporters can be proud of.
“We’ll build a rapport with them, I promise them that, because we’re going to need that,” he added.
“We’re going to need the fans, especially at home. We don’t want to be a passive side, we want a side that’s aggressive, a side that’s front-footed, and the fans to get behind that and really make it a difficult place to come.
“We’re a long way off that at the minute, but that’s the type of team I want us to be.”