Nathan Jones ‘surprised’ by Southampton fans booing but vows to be thick-skinned

Southampton boss Nathan Jones has insisted he will remain “thick skinned” after his side was booed loudly after a 1-0 damaging defeat to teammate Nottingham Forest.

Disgruntled home fans expressed their displeasure following the Saints’ sixth consecutive Premier League defeat with full-time taunts followed by “you don’t know what you’re doing” slogans.

A valuable three points for Forest drove them out of the relegation zone, while Southampton bottomed behind a fourth top-flight loss since Jones was appointed.

“I don’t know what the fans will do,” Galli said of the boos. “It totally depends on them.

“It’s none of my business. This surprised me a bit, but that’s their prerogative.

“The thing about being a football manager is that I understand the skepticism, especially when you come from where I come from and get an opportunity here. Fans paid for, no matter what they did.

“For me, as a manager, you have to be thick-skinned.

“It’s not the first time I’ve been booed, it’s not the first time I’ve been baited.

“You have to show the real traits that got you into this situation because when we get through this it will be a moment of pride for me.”

The troublesome defense once again greatly contributed to Southampton’s downfall, as their dangerous position became a little more dangerous.

Taiwo Awoniyi fired Forest’s 27th-minute winner – the game’s only attempt to hit the target – after Saints defender Lyanco made a sloppy mistake to earn the visitors their first high-flying success of the season.

Brennan Johnson had previously hit the crossbar to assist the goal, while Che Adams wasted the best opportunity for the home team, who had slipped four points off safety due to poor goalkeeping.

Former Luton manager Jones said Southampton needed to deliver positive results in order to draw the aggrieved fans back to their ranks.

“It’s the only way to change it,” he said.

“Tonight was a front-footed performance. We worked hard, we just couldn’t show enough quality.

“You had a side of you that instilled in you with more status than Forest and we just didn’t show enough quality and then we gifted them a goal.

“There is a lot we can do better and we have to.”

Resurgent Forest has scored 11 points out of the last 21, achieving just six out of the previous 33.

The two-time European champions were more than comfortable maintaining their weak lead and happily celebrated their first away win since their 2-1 win at Blackburn in May 1999.

With the game also bringing in its first away goal since August, Forest boss Steve Cooper said a productive trip to St Mary’s ticked “lots of boxes”.

“Of course it’s better to be outside than inside, and we’ve had enough weeks there,” he said of exiting the last three.

“Now that we’re out of there, the obvious challenge is to stay out of it and get away from it if you can.

“But it’s going to be one step at a time, it’s easier for me to say than to say, the same goes for the players.”

“But today is a start, it’s our first away win, we need an away goal, a lot of boxes have been ticked today in terms of challenges for the players we’ve managed to overcome and we’re good for that.

“The locker room is really together, especially non-players, that’s what I love and need.”

“I never thought we would accept it. Easy to say now I know, but we were comfortable in the game.”

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