Nathan Jones insisted he was not trying to pass the buck with his comments after Southampton’s loss to Brentford and believes he is the right man to try to keep the club in the Premier League.
Jones was pilloried by fans during and after last weekend’s 3-0 defeat having cited the fact he had “compromised certain principles” for Southampton’s poor form since he took over the hotseat in November.
A fans’ forum earlier this week highlighted the strength of feeling against former Luton and Stoke boss Jones from supporters, but he was given the backing of the club’s hierarchy.
“It’s why I came here because they see substance not other things,” Jones told a press conference. “I’m disappointed with the results we’ve had.
“But I know we’re doing good work behind the scenes. I know we run a football club really well, I know we develop individuals, I know we do good work, I know we’re thorough, I know we’re tactically good. It’s just, if you don’t get results, it’s very hard to back that up.”
On his post-match comments and accusations he was looking to shift the blame, Jones said: “I wasn’t doing that at all, in fact I was doing the categorical opposite.
“I was accepting responsibility for all the results. What I said was I’ve compromised certain things I do on a day-to-day basis, which are my decisions. I don’t get pressured from anyone. I listen to people but I have made decisions here and I live and die by my decisions.”
Southampton sit bottom of the table, four points adrift of safety, and face a huge match at home on Saturday against 15th-placed Wolves.
Asked if he felt the contest would be make or break for his position, Jones said: “I don’t know, I can’t answer that question. All I’m going to do is concentrate on trying to win a football game. I know there’s been a lot of speculation, a lot of outside noise and so on, but I can’t affect that.”
Southampton have won only four league matches this season, one since Jones took charge, but he insists he can keep them up.
“I genuinely believe that I can,” he said. “What we have to do is make sure we get results and get results quickly. We’ve been very close on a number of occasions but we have to really focus on this weekend and make sure we get the result.”
Jones did not go into detail on what he felt he had compromised, but said of this week’s work: “I’ve just gone back to basics, I’ve gone back to what I’ve normally done. When I’m saying compromised, just a few day-to-day things which normally I do differently.”
The 49-year-old Welshman said he would not allow the criticism to affect him, adding: “The be all and end all is you’re a manager and, the higher you go, the more scrutiny you get and the broader shoulders you have to have.
“Certain elements of it you feel is not necessary, a bit unfair, there’s no context in that. I’m a religious man, I believe in God, God gives me strength.
“I haven’t got here by a silver spoon or by fly-by-night, I’ve had to work hard and I’ll just continue to work hard and believe in what we do, because I do believe in what we do.
“I believe that we as a staff, but me personally, affect players, affect players positively. My track record says that at whatever level. That’s what I want to continue to do and get back to really, really affecting them.”