Nathan Jones has agreed a “long-term” deal to be the next Southampton head coach after holding further talks with the club’s hierarchy on Wednesday. Jones was in the stands for Southampton’s Carabao Cup game at home to Sheffield Wednesday and is set to be in the dugout for Saturday’s trip to Liverpool.
Southampton and Luton Town had broadly agreed a compensation package for Jones, believed to be £2.5m, before he took charge of his final Luton game on Tuesday at his former club Stoke but the clubs have since formally agreed terms.
Jones, a former Brighton, Southend and Yeovil defender, has been highly successful at Luton across two spells, winning back-to-back promotions into League One and last season led the club into the Championship playoffs. Jones is set to be joined at Southampton with his assistants Chris Cohen, with whom he played at Yeovil, and Alan Sheehan.
Jones, 49, admitted to being “flattered” by Southampton’s interest in him following Luton’s 2-0 defeat at Stoke. “I know my strengths and if a group buys into that, then I can manage at any level,” he said.
Sheffield United were denied the chance to go top of the Championship after South Yorkshire rivals Rotherham triumphed at Bramall Lane for the first time in 42 years.
Ben Wiles scored the decisive first-half goal after Chiedozie Ogbene drifted into the box and found the Millers captain unmarked to coolly turn the ball home.
Enda Stevens had the ball in the back of the net before the break as the Blades searched for a leveller, but the scrambled effort was ruled out for offside.
Viktor Johansson kept a fierce John Egan shot out early in the second half and dealt with a late Oli McBurnie effort, while substitute Billy Sharp also headed wide for a Blades side that failed to take anything from a game they dominated.
Josh Ruffels scored his first two goals for Huddersfield – including an audacious winner – as the Championship’s bottom side overcame high-flying QPR 2-1 at Loftus Road.
Lyndon Dykes had taken just 81 seconds to put the hosts ahead in his 100th appearance for the club, with the opener coming just moments after Seny Dieng kept Danny Ward out in a one-on-one at the other end.
The Terriers were quick to respond as the frenzied early pace of the game continued, with Ruffels levelling with a powerful finish into the top corner. The defender decisively beat Dieng again with a hooked overhead finish from the top of the box before the break.
Luton manager Nathan Jones says he will speak to Southampton about their managerial vacancy on Wednesday, but has insisted that a move to the Premier League club is “not a done deal”.
Speaking after Tuesday’s 2-0 loss at Stoke City, the Welshman said it was a “wonderful honour” to be approached and added: “I hope the fans understand why I’m going for the chat because it’s a different world in the Premier League. I want to be there one day, whether that’s with Luton or with someone else. It’s just an opportunity to go and chat and to find out if it is right for me.”
Jones’ side conceded twice inside the first 13 minutes, both goals coming from left-wing crosses by Morgan Fox. Nick Powell arrived late in the box to head in the opener before Tom Lockyer, under pressure from Liam Delap, diverted into his own net.
Joao Pedro’s double was enough for a victory over Reading that sent Watford into the Championship playoff places. The Brazilian forward scored a goal in each half to give the Hornets a sixth win in 10 games since Slaven Bilic took charge.
Pedro calmly converted from the spot after he had been fouled by Ovie Ejaria as Reading failed to clear a Watford corner. And he wrapped up a deserved victory with a controlled half-volley past substitute goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis late on.
Michael Carrick’s outstanding Middlesbrough dominated Blackpool to claim a 3-0 victory at Bloomfield Road and leap four places to 16th.
Rejuvenated Boro went ahead following Isaiah Jones’ 15th-minute strike and never relinquished control. Carrick’s team scored the second goal their superiority merited when Marcus Forss crashed in a penalty three minutes after half-time.
The excellent Chuba Akpom converted Ryan Giles’ low 65th-minute cross for his fourth goal in four games to end any lingering doubts over the outcome.
Boro, who were winless in their opening six away games this season, have now won three out of four on the road following this emphatic success. Carrick has taken seven points from four games since his appointment last month.
Liam Rosenior was impressed with what he saw from Hull in the 3-2 win at Cardiff despite only having three training sessions with his new team. The former defender took over the Tigers last week and has picked up four points from his first two games.
Having dominated the first half in the Welsh capital, Hull only had a fourth-minute goal from Dimitrios Pelkas to show for their efforts. The boos from the Cardiff fans as the team left the field for half-time showed what they thought of the performance.
Callum Robinson then scored 90 seconds into the second half before crossing for Gavin Whyte to head the home side ahead. But Regan Slater fired in two goals in as many minutes to steal the show to give Rosenior his first win at Hull.
Troy Deeney’s late goal saw Birmingham City claim a point from an entertaining 2-2 draw with Swansea City. Swansea had looked set for a comeback victory having fallen behind to Scott Hogan’s early header.
Olivier Ntcham’s fine 20-yard drive brought the visitors level at St Andrew’s before a rare goal from Swansea captain Matt Grimes. But veteran Blues skipper Deeney struck from point-blank range to salvage a point for John Eustace’s side.
Coventry continued their recent revival as they registered a third consecutive Championship win by beating out-of-form Wigan. The Sky Blues pressed for the opener and were rewarded as the game wore on as Gustavo Hamer fired home a deflected shot. Thelo Aasgaard headed Max Power’s delivery straight at Coventry keeper Ben Wilson as Wigan pushed for a leveller but Viktor Gyökeres pounced on Josh Eccles’ ball to wrap up the win late on.
Jamie Allen dragged Coventry out of the Championship relegation zone as he denied Blackburn the chance to go top. Allen fired City in front four minutes before the break and Rovers’ hopes of a fightback were effectively dashed five minutes from time when the substitute Jake Garrett was dismissed for a foul on Callum Doyle.
Coventry climbed a point clear of the relegation zone as a result of their 1-0 win, while Blackburn could find themselves five points adrift of the leaders Burnley if they beat Rotherham on Wednesday evening.
Iliman Ndiaye’s header dragged Sheffield United to within a point of Rovers after a 1-0 victory at Bristol City. Ndiaye struck four minutes after the restart to hand the visitors the advantage, although the goalkeeper Wes Foderingham needed the help of an upright to preserve his clean sheet after George Tanner took aim from distance.
Tanner’s evening took a further turn for the worse deep into stoppage time when he was sent off for an ugly challenge on James McAtee which sparked something of a melee.
It proved a better night for the new managers Michael Carrick and Carlos Corberán as both tasted victory for the first time in their posts.
Carrick’s Middlesbrough won 3-1 at Hull, with a significant helping hand from their hosts. Chuba Akpom headed Boro into a 30th-minute lead from Tommy Smith’s cross, but Hull responded and, after Jean Michaël Seri had rattled a post, the Boro old boy Cyrus Christie levelled on the hour in front of the watching Liam Rosenior, who is expected to be named as Shota Arveladze’s replacement on Wednesday.
However, the visitors were back in front within three minutes when Tobias Figueiredo bundled into his own net under pressure from Dael Fry, and Christie was similarly unfortunate when he defected Ryan Giles’ cross past his own keeper with 10 minutes remaining.
West Brom’s need was even greater as Corberán guided them to a 1-0 victory against Blackpool in his second game at the helm even after furious fans turned on the owner Guochuan Lai. They left it late, however, with Okay Yokuslu making the decisive intervention with just five minutes remaining to end West Brom’s three-match losing streak and clinch a first home win since 20 August.
Albion fans mobilised against Lai in the 12th minute with the chairman, in charge since 2016, the target of their anger having borrowed £5m from the club during the Covid pandemic. The home supporters turned on their torches to ‘shine a light’ on the club’s problems, a move planned by group Action for Albion, and chanted for Lai to go.
A Brad Potts goal was enough to hand Preston victory against high-flying Swansea. Potts put the home side ahead on the half-hour mark when he followed up after Ched Evans’ attempt had been saved, in the process sending Preston level on points with sixth-placed Swansea.
Luton and Reading had to make do with a point apiece after a 0-0 draw at Kenilworth Road on a night when Jeff Hendrick and Andy Carroll both went close for the visitors after the break.
Russell Martin felt that the Cardiff forward Callum Robinson was guilty of making an “easy mistake” for the seventh-minute red card that allowed Swansea to continue their dominance of the South Wales derby.
Ollie Cooper and Michael Obafemi were on target as Swansea ran out comfortable 2-0 winners to secure a sixth win in eight derby meetings. Cardiff have won just once in that time and their fate on Sunday was sealed when Robinson reacted to Ben Cabango’s early nudge by throwing the ball in to the face of the Wales defender.
“We were helped with the early red card,” Martin, the Swansea manager, said. “It was something we spoke to our players about – especially the young ones in the team – to not get involved in any of that. Thankfully for us, one of their players did. It’s a really easy mistake to make when the atmosphere is like this in such a big game.
“Then, it was about sticking to our game plans more than ever and not changing anything. I really liked us and we should have scored more goals than we did.”
Cardiff’s third successive defeat leaves them 20th, two points above the relegation zone, and their interim manager, Mark Hudson, had no complaints over Robinson’s red card. “It’s about having controlled aggression in moments during a game,” he said.
“It’s something to learn from and I can only focus on the players who were on from seven onwards. They stuck in, fought for the club, fought for the badge, and fought for each other, which is all you can ask.”
Swansea’s seventh win in nine games lifted them to fourth in the Championship, three points adrift of the leaders Queens Park Rangers.
Watford have moved to within three points of the Championship play-off places after thrashing their neighbours Luton 4-0 at Vicarage Road.
First-half goals from Keinan Davis and William Troost-Ekong set the tone and the visitors’ doom was sealed when the goalkeeper Ethan Horvath gifted João Pedro a third, with Ismaïla Sarr completing the rout. The substitute Gabriel Osho saw red late on for a dreadful challenge on Ken Sema to complete a dismal derby day for Luton.
“It was a derby game so not only a great three points but a great performance from start to finish,” Watford’s manager, Slaven Bilic, said. “We should have scored more goals, collectively there was togetherness and second balls we didn’t match them, we beat them. The front guys were absolutely amazing, they destroyed them.
Luton’s manager, Nathan Jones, revealed a sickness bug had ruined his preparations. The captain, Sonny Bradley, started but had to come off at half-time, the substitutes Luke Berry and Dan Potts were too ill to come on and the midfielder Henri Lansbury was absent altogether.
“We never gave ourselves a chance,” Jones said. “They just caught us on a bad day. Congratulations to Watford and apologies to the fans as we didn’t want them to go through that.”
Luton remain ahead of Watford by a place and a point, and Jones was philosophical that a seven-match unbeaten run had come to an end. “Let’s not lose perspective, we have been on a wonderful run,” he said.
“We are not in the worst position, it’s just that today hurts because of who they are and the manner. We will have to get it out of our system.”
Blackburn went top of the Championship as they defeated their former manager Tony Mowbray’s Sunderland 2-0 on his first return to Ewood Park.
Ben Brereton Díaz put Rovers ahead when he curled a left‑footed effort into the top corner from the edge of the box, seconds after a Sunderland penalty appeal was turned down. Scott Wharton’s close-range header soon after half‑time put Rovers in control despite a hint of offside. Sunderland pushed to try to get back into the game but they could not find a way past a resolute home defence as Ryan Hedges’s effort from almost halfway with the final kick of the game glanced the Sunderland post.
Jay Fulton scored a spectacular long-range winner as Swansea City fought back from 2-0 down to claim a thrilling 3-2 win against Reading.
Classy finishes from Yakou Méïté and Tom Ince put Reading on course for an away triumph. But Harry Darling’s header made it 2-1 at half-time before Ollie Cooper swept in the equaliser. Fulton’s stunner in the 74th minute earned Swansea a sixth win in eight games as they bounced back from a weekend thrashing at Burnley.
This was a third successive home win for the Welsh club, who climb to seventh in the table, while Reading drop to ninth after their third successive defeat.
There were echoes of Sunday’s power failure at Leeds when the lights went out inside the opening 60 seconds of the game, prompting a six-minute delay.
The Luton striker Carlton Morris scored against the club where he began his career as Norwich City lost their third successive Championship game. Morris, signed from Barnsley in the summer, fired home his seventh goal of the season from Allan Campbell’s assist as the Hatters stretched their unbeaten run to seven games. Norwich went down to 10 men four minutes later when the Scotland international Kenny McLean was shown a straight red card after appearing to raise an arm to Tom Lockyer.
Teemu Pukki whistled a shot past the post as the Canaries pressed for an equaliser, but there was no way back for Dean Smith’s side as they slipped two places to fifth in the table – below Luton, who moved up to fourth.
Managerless West Brom endured a fourth defeat in seven games as they were beaten by two first-half goals from a resurgent Bristol City. The City top scorer Nahki Wells helped to create the first for the midfielder Joe Williams and then headed the second as the former Albion assistant manager Nigel Pearson made a happy return to the Hawthorns.
The Baggies had made a great start to life after Steve Bruce’s sacking when their caretaker manager Richard Beale led them to a 2-0 win at Reading on Saturday. But limp defending was the root cause of their latest defeat which leaves them a point above the drop zone in 20th.
Preston moved to within two points of the playoff places courtesy of Greg Cunningham’s second-half header as they defeated Huddersfield 1-0 at the John Smith’s Stadium. Both sides had come into the game in stuttering form and it showed, with Preston’s Alvaro Fernández having the best chances towards the end of the first half.
Cunningham headed North End in front five minutes into the second half and Huddersfield failed to get a shot on target as they slipped to their ninth league defeat of the season.
Rotherham moved up to 10th after they beat Stoke 1-0 at the Bet365 Stadium thanks to Ollie Rathbone’s sixth-minute goal.
QPR stunned the Championship leaders Sheffield United with a 1-0 victory at Bramall Lane as Norwich missed the chance to go top of the table after drawing against Reading.
Chris Willock’s 51st-minute strike sent the Blades spinning to a first home defeat of the season and pushed in-form Rangers up to fourth place. Willock’s winner came after he played a clever one-two with Ethan Laird and squeezed his shot from an acute angle between goalkeeper Wes Foderingham and the near post. Tommy Doyle came closest to a Blades equaliser from distance, with his effort just going wide, but Rangers held on to make it five wins from seven games.
Second-placed Norwich moved level on points with United despite taking the lead at Reading. Grant Hanley put Norwich ahead from a corner five minutes after half-time but Reading claimed a share of the spoils through Jeff Hendrick’s excellent dipping strike from outside the box 10 minutes later. Paul Ince’s Reading remain in third, two points adrift of the top two.
Luton and Huddersfield shared a six-goal thriller at Kenilworth Road – with five goals coming before half-time. Huddersfield twice led in the first period through a Carlton Morris own goal and a Jordan Rhodes penalty. But Elijah Adebayo’s double saw the Hatters level before Jordan Clark struck seconds before the interval. Ben Jackson equalised for Huddersfield after 70 minutes, but the Terriers finished with 10 men as David Kasumu was sent off in added time for two bookable offences.
Cardiff claimed a first win under their interim manager Mark Hudson as they beat Blackburn 1-0 in the Welsh capital. In a dramatic finale, substitute Mark Harris fired Cardiff ahead with a rasping 20-yard shot seven minutes from time.
Ryan Allsop then saved an injury-time penalty from George Hirst after the Bluebirds goalkeeper had brought down Dominic Hyam as Cardiff struggled to clear a free-kick.
Bottom-placed Coventry drew 0-0 at Bristol City. Han-Noah Massengo and Antoine Semenyo went close for the hosts as the Robins sought to end a three-game losing streak. But Coventry were much-improved after the break and Matty Godden saw his second-half header cleared on to the bar by home defender Mark Sykes. Bristol City had late appeals for a Callum Doyle handball in the penalty area waved away.
Sunderland also had to settle for a goalless draw against Blackpool. It was Sunderland’s second such result at the Stadium of Light in the space of three days after they were held by Preston on Saturday.