Jones with Brighton & Hove Albion in 2014
|Full name||Nathan Jason Jones|
|Date of birth||28 May 1973|
|Place of birth||Blaenrhondda, Wales|
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Position(s)||Left back / Midfielder|
|Luton Town (manager)|
|1999||→ Scarborough (loan)||8||(0)|
|2000–2005||Brighton & Hove Albion||159||(7)|
|2014||Brighton & Hove Albion (caretaker)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Jones began his career with Football Conference club Merthyr Tydfil before joining Luton Town in the summer of 1995. He became homesick at Luton so took an opportunity to move to Spain with Badajoz and then Numancia and returned to England with Southend United in 1997. Jones spent three seasons at Roots Hall which included a brief loan spell with Scarborough 1999. He moved on to Brighton & Hove Albion in 2000 and was part of the team that won three promotions in five years. He joined Yeovil Town in 2005 where he spent seven seasons in League One making over 200 appearances.
Whilst at Yeovil Jones began taking his coaching badges, spending time as first-team coach of Yeovil Town Ladies and later player-assistant manager of the first team. He left Yeovil in 2012 and joined Charlton Athletic as their under-21 professional development coach, a role which he held for one season. He returned to Brighton as a member of the coaching staff to Óscar García, Sami Hyypiä and Chris Hughton. Jones left Brighton in January 2016 to take over as manager of League Two club Luton Town. He guided the Hatters to the League Two play-offs in 2016–17 losing out to Blackpool but earned promotion to League One in 2017–18 finishing in 2nd place. With Luton on course for a second consecutive promotion Jones left in January 2019 for Championship club Stoke City. His time at Stoke was ultimately unsuccessful and he was subsequently sacked in November 2019. Jones returned to Luton in May 2020.
Jones was released by Cardiff in the summer of 1991 and went to play for Maesteg Park, Ton Pentre and Football Conference club Merthyr Tydfil. He spent two years at Penydarren Park before signing for David Pleat's Luton Town in July 1995 for a fee of £10,000. However he soon became homesick at Luton and so moved to Spain to join Segunda División club Badajoz who were managed by Englishman Colin Addison. The team narrowly missed out on promotion to La Liga in 1995–96, missing out to Extremadura by one goal. Jones dropped down to the Segunda División B in 1996–97 joining Numancia and helped them gain promotion via the play-offs. Jones credits his time in Spain as a major impact on his life and career.
Jones returned to England play for Southend United in 1997. He spent three seasons at Southend, including a loan at Scarborough in the 1998–99 season, where he was part of the team relegated by Jimmy Glass' memorable goal for Carlisle United. He moved to Brighton & Hove Albion where he made over 150 appearances during his five seasons at the club, achieving three promotions.
Jones moved to Yeovil Town in 2005 and established himself as a member of the first team. His seven-year association with the club included captaining the team at Wembley Stadium for the 2007 Football League One play-off Final, resulting in a 2–0 defeat to Blackpool.
Jones started his FA Level Three Coaching Badge in the summer of 2008, and became first-team coach of Yeovil Town Ladies from November 2007, alongside manager Steve Phelps and assistant manager Nigel Wolfe.
On 18 February 2009, Jones was confirmed as player-assistant manager of Yeovil, alongside player-manager Terry Skiverton. Following Skiverton's replacement by Gary Johnson, Jones was demoted to the role of first-team coach.
On 1 June 2012, Jones left Yeovil Town after seven years and having played 211 matches for the club by mutual consent.
Brighton & Hove Albion
On 19 July 2013, Jones joined Championship club Brighton & Hove Albion, filling the new position of assistant head coach, working under head coach Óscar García. Following Oscar's departure from Brighton and the appointment of new manager Sami Hyypiä, Jones changed roles and became Brighton's first-team coach. After Hyypia's resignation on 22 December 2014, Jones was appointed as caretaker manager. Following Chris Hughton's appointment as manager on 31 December 2014, Jones moved back to his role as assistant manager. On 3 February 2015, after the appointment of Colin Calderwood as Hughton's assistant manager, Jones was demoted to the role of first-team coach.
On 6 January 2016, Jones left his role as first-team coach with Brighton to become the new manager of League Two club Luton Town on a two-and-a-half-year contract. He won 11 of his 21 matches in charge during the remainder of 2015–16, guiding the club away from the danger of relegation to an 11th-place finish.
Jones made wholesale changes to Luton's squad ahead of 2016–17, releasing 12 players and signing eight new ones. Jones' Luton team spent only one week of the season outside the top seven positions, while he also led the club to the semi-final of the EFL Trophy. He signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract with the club on 20 March 2017. Luton finished the 2016–17 season in fourth place, but were beaten 6–5 on aggregate by Blackpool in the play-off semi-final, meaning they would compete the 2017–18 season in League Two again.
Jones stated his ambition to go one step further and win promotion to League One in 2017–18, saying: "This year we can't have excuses, can't have that naivety about us, can't allow teams to nick draws and cost us our ultimate goal." His summer recruitment was focused on signing experienced players who had previously won promotion, and he succeeded in doing this when signing Alan McCormack, James Collins and Marek Štěch. Luton began the season with an 8–2 home win over Yeovil Town to set a club record for their biggest margin of victory on the opening day of a season. Jones was named the League Two Manager of the Month for October 2017 after Luton recorded three wins, one draw and one defeat, including a 7–1 home victory over Stevenage. He would go on to win the award for the second successive month, in which Luton achieved three wins in four league matches, including a 7–0 home win over Cambridge United, scoring 14 goals to climb to the top of the table on goal difference. Luton's win over Cambridge meant they became the first team in the history of the English Football League to score seven or more goals on three occasions before Christmas. They were also the highest-scoring team in the country in early December with 63 goals in all competitions, one more than Manchester City who were top of the Premier League. Jones was nominated for League Two Manager of the Month for the third month in succession, which was awarded to Danny Cowley of Lincoln City. Luton topped the table until a 2–1 home defeat to Accrington Stanley in March 2018 saw them drop to second place for the first time since 21 November 2017, behind Accrington. The club did, however, win promotion to League One on 21 April 2018 after a 10-year absence following a 1–1 draw away to Carlisle United. A week later, they secured a second-place finish in the table with a 3–1 home victory over Forest Green Rovers. After four wins and one draw in April, Jones was named the League Two Manager of the Month for the third time in 2017–18.
Jones continued to take Luton on an upward trajectory during the 2018–19 season, leading the club to second place in League One by January 2019 with the highest number of goals scored. Following the sacking of Gary Rowett, he was linked to the vacant managerial job at Championship club Stoke City in January 2019. On 9 January the club announced they had granted Jones permission to speak with Stoke City. His departure was announced later the same day and he left Luton with the highest Football League points per game ratio of any manager in their history.
Jones was appointed manager of Championship club Stoke City on 9 January 2019 after the club agreed a compensation package with Luton. Jones won three matches of the remaining 21 in 2018–19 as Stoke ended in 16th position. During the summer transfer window Jones brought in ten new players to build his own squad. Stoke made a bad start to the 2019–20 season gaining only a point from the first six matches. Jones was sacked on 1 November 2019 after winning just two of the first 14 matches of the 2019–20 season. Despite his sacking, Jones later stated that he didn't regret leaving Luton to manage Stoke.
Return to Luton Town
On 28 May 2020, Jones was reappointed as Luton manager, almost 18 months after originally leaving the club to manage Stoke. He replaced the outgoing Graeme Jones, who left by mutual consent the month before. In his first press conference, Jones spoke of his "regret" and "remorse" over the way he initially left the club and that he understood the mixed fan reaction to his exit and return, with hopes that he can earn fans trust back.
Jones is a devout Christian who credits his faith with getting him through bad times. He has several religious tattoos on his body including praying hands and the crucifixion on his left bicep and forearm, Jesus Christ on his right bicep, and Michaelangelo's 'The Creation of Adam' across his back.
"It keeps you grounded. There's a lot of temptations, a lot of pitfalls nowadays, especially for a sportsman – and I think through God's guidance I've been able to steer clear of them. Through the hard times I've always had the stability of the Lord in my life and my family background has kept me on the straight and narrow."
Jones is bilingual, able to speak both English and Spanish.
|Club||Season||League||National Cup[a]||League Cup[b]||Other||Total|
|Numancia||1996–97||Segunda División B||16||0||0||0||0||0||2[c]||0||18||0|
|Southend United||1997–98||Second Division||38||0||4||1||2||0||1[d]||0||45||1|
|Scarborough (loan)||1998–99||Third Division||8||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||8||0|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||2000–01||Third Division||40||4||2||0||2||1||1[d]||0||45||5|
|Yeovil Town||2005–06||League One||42||0||3||0||2||0||1[d]||0||48||0|
- As of match played 27 February 2021
|Brighton & Hove Albion (caretaker)||22 December 2014||31 December 2014||2||1||1||0||50.0|||
|Luton Town||6 January 2016||9 January 2019||170||87||46||37||51.2|||
|Stoke City||9 January 2019||1 November 2019||38||6||15||17||15.8|||
|Luton Town||28 May 2020||Present||46||18||12||16||39.1|||
As a player
Brighton & Hove Albion
- Football League Third Division: 2000–01
- Football League Second Division: 2001–02
- Football League Second Division play-offs: 2004
As a manager
- EFL League One Manager of the Month: December 2018
- EFL League Two Manager of the Month: October 2017, November 2017, April 2018
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