Southampton hires Nathan Jones as Hasenhuttl’s replacement

SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) — Southampton hired Nathan Jones as the manager on Thursday after he decided to leave second-tier team Luton.

Jones has a tough first game in charge against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday before a six-week break for the World Cup.

Southampton fired Ralph Hasenhüttl on Monday with the team in third-to-last place in the English Premier League.

Jones was in the second of his stints as Luton manager and led the team to the Championship playoffs last season.

“A lot of my family are Southampton fans, which doesn’t half help,” said Jones, who has signed a 3 1/2-year deal, “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.”

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