Southampton midfielder Ibrahima Diallo has expressed sympathy for Nathan Jones after the Welshman was sacked as Saints’ manager.
The Saints brought in Jones to replace Ralph Hassenhuttl, their manager of four years, in November. They hoped that he could steer them clear of the relegation zone and ensure Premier League safety.
However, things did not go according to plan for Jones as he struggled to take Southampton further up the table. The club managed to win just one of their eight league matches under his management.
Jones also failed to earn the fans’ support and made life more difficult for himself with his comments earlier this month. His tendency to refer to the team as ‘they’ after poor results did not go down well among the Saints faithful.
Southampton finally decided to pull the plug on the Welsh tactician after their 2-1 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers at the weekend. Jones’ stint at St. Mary’s thus came to an end after just 94 days.
Diallo has now revealed that he was surprised when he learned that Jones had been sacked as the team’s manager. The midfielder revealed that he feels sad for the 49-year-old. He said on Sky Sports:
"“I was surprised, I think like anybody, just surprised and sad for him as well. [He was] popular like any coach.” “He just tried to do his job like the players, like the staff, like all the people at the club. It was just a normal relationship with him.”"
Diallo went on to detail his relationship with Jones, who subbed him off at half-time in the Saints’ 3-0 loss to Brentford. He added:
"“It was good. He had to make tough decisions before the game, during the game and after the game.” “It was not an easy situation for him. I had to do my job and adapt to his decisions.”"
Southampton set to appoint Jesse Marsch as new boss
Southampton tasked first team lead coach Ruben Selles with preparing the team for their upcoming match against Chelsea after sacking Jones. However, they have been in the process of hiring a new boss.
It looks increasingly likely that the Hamsphire-based club will bring in Jesse Marsch to replace Jones. The American tactician was in charge of Leeds United for a year before being sacked earlier this month.