Wolves boss Lopetegui insists rival boss Jones is a ‘very good coach’ ahead of Southampton clash
Wolves head coach Julen Lopetegui has defended under-fire Southampton boss Nathan Jones ahead of their game at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.
Jones has lost eight of his 13 games in charge of the Saints since he left Luton Town to replace Ralph Hasenhuttl back in November.
Rasmus Ankersen, CEO of the club’s owners Sport Republic, has offered support to the manager this week.
Wolves go to St Mary’s on Saturday looking to pull further clear of danger after last week’s 3-0 win over Liverpool moved them to 15th.
Lopetegui said: “He’s (Jones) made a very good job because I’ve seen the matches, this is a good team.
“He’s a very good coach, I have seen the matches and they play in a very good way. They are playing in a line of four, three or five, they change the system but they are a good aggressive team.
“Sometimes you don’t win because it’s football but undoubtedly they are a good team and he’s a very good coach.
“I only think about the next match, Southampton are a very good team and it is very important for them and us. We have to be ready to compete and deserve positive things. It’s going to be a very hard match.
“We have to get used to competing in all the environments. When you play at home, there is more energy and a difficult atmosphere, when you play away you have to overcome this difference.
“We have to be ready to compete, we have a very good team in front of us.”
But Lopetegui has suffered a blow after Hwang Hee-chan was ruled out for at least a month with a hamstring injury.
The striker was forced off in the Liverpool win and he is not expected back until March with Boubacar Traore (groin), Pedro Neto (ankle) and Sasa Kalajdzic (knee) out.
Lopetegui added: “It depends, with this kind of injury each player is different but more or less it will be four of five weeks. We have to wait for him.”
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