Jordan Cousins is convinced that Nathan Jones’ appointment as Charlton Athletic manager will steer his former club away from League One drop danger.
The Greenwich-born midfielder, 29, played for Jones when he was lead coach of the Addicks’ U21 team – and was also signed by the Welshman in the summer of 2019 at Stoke City.
Cousins is back plying his trade in England’s third tier after signing for Cambridge United in July.
“He (Jones) had a big influence on me when he was a young manager and coach – coming into the U21 set-up,” the former England U20 international, capped by Jamaica, told the South London Press.
“He was very enthusiastic and had a large group of talented players in that squad, many of whom have gone on to do great things or earn professional contracts at other clubs.
“He was very impressionable because it was my last year of academy football before I stepped up with the first team and played under Chris Powell.
“He helped me step up and be consistent at that level.
“He is very, very passionate and energetic. I don’t think he is going to have a problem getting the crowd on his side and the team to play for him.
“I had him as my manager at Stoke and it was a brief tenure for him, unfortunately for me, but at the start he galvanised them.
“It didn’t work out in the end but he has a historic relationship with Charlton and was very successful the last time he was here – I don’t see any problems for him embedding his playing style on to Charlton fans, for sure.
“He wasn’t managing in the Premier League just more than a year ago for no reason. So there has to be some sort of calibre behind the manager and the man. There definitely is as a person – because I know him.
“I’ve had lots of interviews in the past few years about him and I’ve always spoken very highly and positively about him because I know the guy. I know he is a family man and he wears his heart on his sleeve.
“I can’t see any reason for it not to be a great appointment for Charlton but he just needs time, like any other manager. He is going in there and the form is not the best at the moment, but if he is given time I’m sure definitely Charlton won’t be in the place they are right now.”
Jones is set to cut a very different figure on the sidelines to his predecessor Michael Appleton, who claimed shortly before his dismissal that showing emotions was an act.
So does a manager’s reaction have any influence on a player?
“I don’t think it does because you are so focused in on the game that you don’t really have time to worry about what his manager is doing,” said Cousins, who has played more than 300 senior games.
“Yes, you hear a demand or instructions, but not the other stuff.”
Charlton were fancied to be play-off contenders before a ball was kicked but are 19th and just one point above the drop zone heading into tomorrow’s away fixture at fellow strugglers Reading.
“This is a tough league,” said Cousins. “I’ve been lucky enough to get promoted out of it and every single game is difficult – the table doesn’t lie.
“I’m surprised that Charlton aren’t fighting at the other end of the table, especially with the backing the new owners seem to have put in, but it is what it is.
“They are where they are but I don’t really worry about Charlton being in that relegation scrap because even myself at Cambridge, when our new gaffer (Neil Harris) came in, there is that instant reaction the majority of the time.
“Hopefully that can be the case with Nathan Jones.
“He wants 100 per cent hard work, commitment and professionalism – all the basics required to be a professional footballer and being in a winning and successful team. He has been around those teams at this level, so he will know what it takes.”
PICTURE: KYLE ANDREWS
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