Ridiculed former Southampton boss’ message to Portsmouth after landing struggling Charlton Athletic posting

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The former Luton Town boss was mocked at Southampton, but is now set to face the Blues after arriving at The Valley

Nathan Jones is adamant Pompey will be shown no fear as he looks forward to taking on the League One leaders.

But the Charlton boss acknowledged League One will offer ‘brutal’ challenges for him and his new side after arriving at The Valley.

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Jones ended 11 months out of the game after his sacking at St Mary’s, with a return to the Blues’ London rivals earlier this month.

The Welshman was ridiculed in his time up the M27, in a 14-game tenure which saw Southampton lose seven of his eight Premier League games across a three-month period as his rock-bottom side plummeted towards the Championship.

Jones’ bizarre comments included talking up his credentials as among the best in Europe and criticising his own club’s fans, with a fan holding up a giant P45 before his sacking as things turned ugly.

The former Luton Town boss is now back, however, and after a defeat at struggling Reading picked up his first point at home to Lincoln on Tuesday night.

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Charlton now face the fearsome challenge of taking on the division’s top three sides in the next three games, with a trip to Bolton followed by Pompey going to south east London in nine days - where the travelling fans are bound to give Jones some flak.

The Addicks then go to Derby, but the 50-year-old is looking forward to what lies ahead - despite the strugglers being just one point clear of the League One relegation places.

Jones told the South London Press: 'We will build on it (his first point). The opposition is the opposition – we can’t affect that. It is three great tests where we will get better, week in and week out.

'Results will be the results but as long as we get better then we will be fine.

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'I saw a categorical difference in intensity (against Lincoln) and the way we played from Saturday. If we have that upgrade week in and week out then we are going to be a good team.

'They are all tough games – this is League One. It is going to be brutal at times. Games will be different but all we can do is build – we face who we face – and we go into each game with respect but no fear.

'They (Bolton) are very strong but we’ve got to be disciplined and do well. We have got to be really good defensively and then be a threat in possession. We’ve got good players as well.'

Jones returns to the game with the immediate challenge of stabilising a Charlton side, but the outspoken character feels he is ready for that task.

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He told Charlton’s official website: ‘I’ve had 11 months out, where I’ve rested, recuperated, paddle-boarded, had a great life sipping wine at two o’clock in the afternoon. I’m ready now, so every day this club’s going to get that energy, to drive something forward.’

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