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‘I want to be that life-changing manager’ New boss ready for Saints chance (Image: Nathan Jones takes charge of his Saints opener today against Liverpool: Images: PA/Stuart Martin)

If you ask Nathan Jones what kind of manager he would like to be Saintshe will paint a picture of something he has never experienced.

A 23-year playing career has taken Jones from his home in Wales to Spain and the UK in the English lower leagues. However, the manager he wants to be is based just as much on what he did not experience at that time.

READ MORE: Nathan Jones’ first and greatest task is to solve the Saints’ identity crisis

Speaking to the media just 24 hours after his unveiling as Saints manager and a further 24 hours before his new side take on Liverpool to end a whirlwind week, the former Luton Town boss described the type relationships he wants to develop with his new group of players.

“Be a Soccer The manager has many facets,” Jones told the Daily Echo when asked about his approach to managing players on and off the pitch.

“When you ask people to sacrifice certain things, when you ask people to metaphorically walk through brick walls, when you ask people to accept something, you have to make them believe that.

“Now if you just dictate to them, that’s not my management style. What I want to do is get them to agree to something and see the reasoning behind it, and then with my passion for what I do , with my work pace, they can see that I believe in something.

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“If I believe in a way of doing it and I can transfer that to the pitch and I can get them to buy into it…and then see that I have an empathetic side when maybe they’re not playing not as well, so it’s going to give them a real boost to move forward.

“I manage as I want to be managed. I wanted a manager to care about me, I wanted someone to want to make me better, I wanted someone to say ‘you can be this, you can be that player if you want really, if you commit.’ And then guide me to be that. And then put myself in a team setting that corresponded to my way of playing, I wanted to as a player. I never had it – which is ironic because I played for 23 years – but I never had it. But I want to be that manager, that trainer, who fundamentally changes their lives.

“Buy-in” is a phrase Jones throws around regularly about almost every area of ​​his management, whether it’s himself, his players or his team’s fans. We are still dumb Games in his Saints tenure and just one press conference, but Jones seems to understand his role as someone who demands both from his players while also believing in them in difficult times.

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This group of players won’t be at their best every time they step onto the pitch and that’s especially true given the age and experience of this team. They lack the background and timeline of experiences to deal with every new challenge that comes their way. Some challenges will end in failure, but that’s how they learn and then adapt.

This team needs a human manager just as much as they need a tactical brain on the pitch and hearing Jones talk about his efforts to understand and train the human side of his players helps to explain in part why the club has made this change.

In some ways, it’s reminiscent of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s early management career. Described as a “human seeker” – someone people naturally gravitate towards and want to fight for – by those who knew him at the start of his first club Unterhaching, it is noteworthy that part of this personal approach disappeared when he left St Marie’s.

Reports claimed that disadvantaged individuals sometimes received no encouragement or explanation of what they had done wrong while he was never one to pamper his players. Hasenhuttl’s methods weren’t necessarily bad, they worked for almost four years after all, but football works in cycles.

When a style of management – or manager – stops working, you have to find a change. That doesn’t just mean a different human at the top calling the shots, but a different method of calling those shots altogether.

Only time will tell if Nathan Jones is the right person to lead this next phase of Sport Republic Saints ownership. But it looks like a lot of Jones’ success will be determined by Jones the human, rather than just the football manager. And that’s exactly what this Saints team needs right now.

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