Nathan Jones acknowledged that the time was not on Southampton’s side, but warned that expectations must be managed as we start the new year rooted to the bottom of the Premier League.
Jones took over the post from Ralph Hasenhuttl following his sacking in November, making his debut on the south coast with two losses in two matches.
Following their late defeat to Fulham on New Year’s Eve, the Saints entertain their struggling mate Nottingham Forest in a key fixture at St Mary’s Stadium after five consecutive league defeats.
“I know it can spoil quickly and I don’t want that to happen,” said former Luton boss Jones.
“I know what we’re good at, I know what improvements we’ve made or are trying to make, and I know the levels we’ve produced in practice and games. Now, we have to make sure we keep that up.
“It won’t happen overnight, but it has to be faster than it is because eventually time will run out.
But you cannot change the absolute direction of a football club in a few weeks. With the greatest respect, I want to manage expectations here.
Despite their desperate form, Southampton could climb out of the last three if Wednesday wins their first home win since defeating Chelsea in August.
Orman is also in the relegation zone, two points ahead of the Saints and has not tasted an away win this season.
But Southampton are the worst-performing home team in the league with just six points out of 24, and Jones has warned St Mary’s loyalists must stay on the sidelines to help the stuttering team.
“There is no doubt that the players know the importance of the game and the situation,” added the Welsh player.
“We have to make sure we’re the best version of ourselves to give the fans something to stay behind and they really need to stay behind because we didn’t win enough games this year.
“There are moments in football that can change the confidence, the momentum and everything. It’s when you start well and score the first goal that can instill confidence.
“The crowd also plays a big part in this. If there is negativity or background noise from the crowd, it can have a negative impact on the players.
“We have a lot of young players on the roster who need help from time to time and if they get that help they can be great players.
“But there is a process to get into it. And right now, we’re in the middle of that process. I mean, everybody’s in this together.”