March 23, 2023

Southampton have appointed Luton Town boss Nathan Jones as their new manager on a three-and-a-half year contract, the club announced on Thursday.

Jones replaces Ralph Hasenhuttl, who was sacked on Monday following a poor start to the Premier League season. They are 18th after six defeats in their last nine games including a 4-1 loss to Newcastle United on Sunday.

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The Welshman will take charge of Southampton for their trip to Liverpool on Saturday before working with the squad during the World Cup break. Upon returning they face Brighton & Hove Albion, Fulham and Nottingham Forest.

In a statement on Southampton’s website, Jones said his personal connections to the club and desire to manage in the Premier League had helped him make his decision.

“I know a lot about the club from back in the days of [Southampton’s former stadium] The Dell, to coming here to St Mary’s, and it’s a wonderful football club,” Jones, 49, said.

“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.

“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.”

Southampton have scored just 12 goals in 14 matches. Only Forest and Wolverhampton Wanderers, both also in the relegation zone, as well as 16th-placed Everton, have scored fewer goals so far.

Jones comes in having led Luton to the Championship playoffs last season on one of the smallest budgets in the division. He returned to the club for a second spell following a short stint at Stoke City.

During his first tenure at Luton he got them promoted from League Two and had them on course for promotion from League One when he left for Stoke.

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