'They deserve far more than I've given them' - Stoke boss accepts fate in searingly honest interview

‘I’ve let them down. I have. I feel I’ve let them down. I’m sorry for that.’

STOKE MANAGER NATHAN Jones admitted he is resigned to lose his job after his bottom-of-the-table side lost 1-0 at home to Huddersfield on Tuesday night.

The Championship club, who include among their ranks James McClean, Scott Hogan, Nathan Collins and Stephen Ward, are likely part company with the former Luton manager following a woeful start to the season which has seen them pick up just two points from 10 league games.

The Potters haven’t won a league fixture since April, and in a brutally honest interview following their latest defeat, Jones admitted there was an inevitability that he would lose his job.

The 46-year-old also apologised to both the club’s fans and its owners, suggesting they deserve better than Stoke’s rotten run of form under his tenure.

“If I’m not getting the results, I expect the inevitable to happen,” Jones told Sky Sports. “I’m not concerned. I was concerned after four days of taking the job, but I’m not concerned now.

I’ve had nine months to turn things around and, for one reason or another, I’ve not done it. It’s been tough on me and my family, but I just feel sad. It’s a great club but it just hasn’t worked out.

“I couldn’t have given it any more, I’ve given it everything I can.

“I’ve come here, to be honest with you, and I haven’t been able to change the direction,” Jones continued. “We’ve tried a lot of things; we have changed a lot underneath in terms of the environment and so on. But I haven’t been able to change results and this is a results business, so you know it’s precarious then.

“The fans have been brilliant. They’ve given me enough time, enough patience, to be fair, so I’ve got no qualms whatever happens. I’m just sad, really, because I’ve risked everything to come here — I had a real good club where I was (Luton), and a good team and a good group of players and we were really doing good work there. And I thought we could do it again here but I’ve been rudely awakened, really.

“I have regular dialogue with the owners and I don’t think anyone’s stupid: it’s not going how it should go. After 10 games, you have a gage of a league or where you should be. We’ve got two points from 10 games — that is nowhere near good enough. I take full responsibility for that.

“We’re all responsible but I put the team out there; I prepare them, I train them. So, look, the buck has to stop with me, and for whatever reason [or whatever] the circumstances are, it has to stop with me.”

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stoke-city-v-nottingham-forest-sky-bet-championship-bet365-stadium A dejected James McClean. Source: Nick Potts

Jones praised Stoke’s support for the ‘patience’ they have shown him since he took charge in January, and also paid tribute to his employers who he maintained were the predominant reason for his leaving Luton for the Bet365 Stadium.

He added, however, that he felt as though he had let down the owners in particular, this despite his belief in the work that he and his staff had been doing.

“Look, they’ve been brilliant with me,” he said of the club’s faithful. “They’ve been absolutely brilliant — they’re a great set of fans.

They deserve more, they deserve far more than I’ve given them. They really do. And this club will come again — when, I don’t know, but it’ll come again because it’s got good owners who’ve got the club at heart; they put their life and soul into it, they finance it — they really do. And to be fair, I think they’ve been let down in the past with a lot of things, and I’ve let them down. I have. I feel I’ve let them down. I’m sorry for that.

“But the fans have been brilliant. I thank them for their patience, and I thank the owners for their patience. They’re why I came here, if I’m honest, because you don’t pick your club — you pick your owners, you pick your board.

“Because you know you’re going to go through tough times — even Pep Guardiola goes through tough times — and that’s when you need the owners to be strong and to believe and to see what do. And we do good work and we believe, but it just hasn’t shown.”

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