Nathan Jones has warned Southampton “won’t suddenly turn into Barcelona” after reaching the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup with an unconvincing 2-1 win over League One Lincoln.
Saints boss Jones toasted victory from his first home game in charge thanks to a brace from Che Adams that overturned an early own goal by goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu.
The Premier League hosts struggled through much of a forgettable fourth round match at a sparsely populated St Mary’s, prompting some murmurs of discontent from their frustrated home crowd.
But Jones, who has a lot to think about as he plans a high-level survival mission, took encouragement from the release and was pleased to move on to the final eight.
“We won the match,” he replied when asked about the fans’ dissatisfaction. “How many games have Southampton won this year?
“We are trying to build something and we are trying to win games. We will not suddenly turn into Barcelona overnight.
“With all due respect, we probably haven’t done the basics well enough so far and that’s why we’re in the position we’re in, so we need to build.
“Roma weren’t built in a day, and neither was a fantastic team from Southampton. The most important thing today was that we are in the hat.
“Today we could have played very well, created a hundred chances and lost and if I have to be honest we had better play the way we did, learn something and get to the next round.
“There have been rumblings because we’re a Premier League team and we look at Lincoln and think, ‘we should beat them’, but we beat them, albeit not in a swashbuckling style.”
The former Luton boss Jones has been forced to wait nearly six weeks for his home debut due to the World Cup break.
After naming a strong side, the Welshman experienced a nightmarish start as Bazunu slotted into his own net two minutes before Saints top scorer Adams spared his side’s blushes with a match-winning brace.
Adams, who scored the winning goal with 16 minutes remaining after heading an equalizer in the 25th minute, squandered a golden opportunity to score his hat-trick in injury time moments after substitute Samuel Edozie missed a goal.
“We didn’t get off to the best start with the catastrophic first minute,” said Jones.
“We could have put the icing on the cake with some occasion in the finale.
“He was probably a little hairier than we would have liked.
“But we created enough chances to win more, we had 70% possession.
“I’ve seen a lot of really positive things coming out of today, things that are going to help us a lot.”