Under-fire Stoke boss Nathan Jones made it clear he was “not going to hang around if I’m not wanted” after witnessing his side stretch their winless SkyBet Championship streak to 15 matches after a 3-2 home defeat to Nottingham Forest.
Jones, who edged a step closer to the sack with this latest loss, again slated errors for City’s downfall that came despite a positive start in which summer signing Lee Gregory netted his first goal for the club in the 10th minute.
But another mistake from goalkeeper Jack Butland – his sixth this season that have all led to goals and with Joe Lolley the latest grateful recipient – gave Forest a way back into the game just before half-time.
The victory was completed via second-half strikes from Sammy Ameobi and Lewis Grabban, with James McClean’s 84th-minute header too little too late.
Describing himself as “a big, bold, strong character”, Jones is not prepared to fall on his sword despite his side’s wretched run of form.
“I don’t think there was much wrong with the performance apart from the errors, three big errors, and that’s been the same for the nine games (in the league this season),” said Jones.
“Look, I speak to the board regularly. If anyone thinks I can’t change this then I’ve got no problem. I know it’s a results-based business so I’m not going to hang around if I’m not wanted.
“But I know we do good work, great work. Yet there has to come a point where certain people have to take responsibility.
“I will take responsibility for anything, I have to. I work hard, long hours, we’re thorough, we pick sides to win games, front-footed sides.
“I believe I’m doing my job but I’m not getting results – which ultimately is what it’s about.”
The win for a Forest side – now unbeaten in the league since the opening game of the season – fired the club to the top of the table, yet manager Sabri Lamouchi is baffled by what he sees as his side’s lack of confidence.
Lamouchi said: “I’m satisfied with the three goals, the three points and the fact we’re top of the league, but we need to do more with the performance.
“By chance, we came back into the game, and the second half was good for us but we never controlled the game and we made a lot of mistakes, gave away a lot of chances which led to critical situations.
“We cannot suffer like this. With the ball, we have a lot of great players and I am happy to work with them, but they need to play with more confidence, to learn to enjoy more on the pitch.
“They need to trust in the quality they have. We must play much better than we did tonight.”
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