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Southampton fans ‘need to see a performance’, Nathan Jones admits

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Southampton manager Nathan Jones admits his team need to produce a performance to get the club’s fans back on side following a miserable run of form.

Saints remain rooted to the foot of the Premier League table following Wednesday’s damaging 1-0 loss to fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest at St Mary’s.

Jones’ side were emphatically jeered off following a sixth successive top-flight loss after a mistake from centre-back Lyanco gifted Forest their first-half winner, scored by Taiwo Awoniyi.

The former Luton boss will be hoping a nine-day break from league action can spark a change in fortunes, with Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Crystal Palace followed by a Carabao Cup quarter-final at home to Manchester City.

But he acknowledges that supporters will not easily be able to put the disappointing defeat to Forest to one side.

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“Well they won’t forget about it, let’s be honest,” Jones said.

“What they’ll do is need to see a performance, they’ll need to see something they can get behind and that’s what we have to do; that’s building a performance, putting out a team that gets a performance and then we can start to change perception.

“At the minute that’s tough to do. They won’t forget about Wednesday’s performance and the only thing that will get them to forget is results.

“That’s the big improvement, to change the momentum of the football club because with the greatest respect, they’ve been losing games for a long, long time.

“And we’ve come into a tough, tough situation. But we have to change it and change it quicker than we are at the minute.”

The defeat to Nottingham Forest was the first time Southampton have failed to score under Jones, but he defended striker Che Adams after the Scotland international missed a clear early chance.

“But he gets big chances, he’s probably one of the only ones that gets big chances,” Jones said.

“That’s (down to) his work, his movement, how he is. It will come. Being a Premier League striker is tough. We want him to take those chances; at Fulham he had a big chance and on Wednesday he had a big chance but his all-round levels, he’s been excellent for Southampton.

“I understand the frustrations. We’re defensively better, now we have to make sure that we turn that structure into a little bit more attacking potency.

“We might need a little bit of help with that but the club are working tirelessly on it. If we can bring all those together then we get a performance, then we get a win and things can change.”

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Armel Bella-Kotchap is a major doubt for the trip to Selhurst Park after suffering a knee injury against Forest.

Bella-Kotchap was due to undergo a scan to determine the extent of the damage and if ruled out would join Juan Larios, Alex McCarthy, Tino Livramento and Theo Walcott on the sidelines.

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