Nathan Jones says the way Southampton Football Club is run was the driving force behind his decision to take over as the new Men’s First Team Manager.
The 49-year-old Welshman, appointed on a three-and-a-half-year contract, arrives at St Mary’s from Luton Town, where he helped the club climb from League Two to the upper echelons of the Championship across two successful spells in charge.
Jones admits it’s a dream to manage in the Premier League, but explained why Saints’ infrastructure and way of working makes this move especially appealing.
“It’s pretty amazing really. It’s been a whirlwind time, but I’m really proud to be given this opportunity at a wonderfully traditional football club,” he said.
“It had to be something specific, because Luton is a wonderful football club and everything there is geared towards success – the alignment from top to bottom – and that was the thing I felt is here as well.
“I feel this is a real calculated club. 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.
“There are certain things which are specific, of how they look and what they look for, things that we’ve been doing well at Luton that they want to implement here.
“It’s always a gamble when you employ a manager, when you take a job at a football club, but for me this is one I’m excited about and really feel I can impact.”
nathan jonesit's that hunger, it's that aggressive environment that we want to create and it's one that wants to win football games, because that's the most important thing.
The natural fit between Jones and Southampton extends to family ties – his wife’s great grandfather played for Saints – and a passion for developing young talent that served him so well in the EFL.
“That’s the pull – there are so many things that are specific to how I work and how my team works, in terms of working with younger players, in terms of not getting ready-made [players] but developing them and putting them into a system and that there’s a clear identity, and then hopefully getting the best out of them and making them better,” he explained.
“If some individuals move quicker than the club, so be it, we have others who can replace those, so it’s that hunger, it’s that aggressive environment that we want to create and it’s one that wants to win football games, because that’s the most important thing.”