Nathan Jones has warned Southampton “will not suddenly turn into Barcelona” after reaching the Carabao Cup quarter-finals with an unconvincing 2-1 win over League One Lincoln.
Saints boss Jones toasted victory in his first home game in charge thanks to Che Adams’ brace knocking down an own goal from goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu.
The Premier League hosts labored for much of a forgettable fourth-round tie in sparsely populated St Mary’s, prompting murmurs of displeasure from the frustrated crowd.
But Jones, who has a lot to think about as he plans a high-flying survival mission, was encouraged by the exit and settled for the final eight.
“We won the match,” he replied when asked about the fans’ dissatisfaction. “How many games have Southampton won this year?
“We try to build something and we try to win games. We are not going to 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 have to build.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Southampton’s fantastic team. The most important thing today is that we are in the hat.
“We could have played wonderful today and created a hundred chances and lost and if I’m honest we better play like we did and learn from it and be in the next round. .
“There was some grumbling because we’re a Premier League side and we look at Lincoln and think ‘we should beat them’, but we beat them, but not in a swashbuckling style.”
Former Luton boss Jones was forced to wait almost six weeks for his home debut due to the World Cup break.
After naming a strong side, the Welshman got off to a nightmarish start as Bazunu sank into his own net within two minutes before Saints top scorer Adams spared his side’s blushes with a brace winner.
Adams, who struck the winner 16 minutes from time after heading the leveler in the 25th minute, squandered a golden chance to claim his hat-trick in injury time, moments after substitute Samuel Edozie missed a goal open.
“We didn’t give ourselves the best start with the disastrous first minute,” Jones said.
“We could have put the icing on the cake with a few late chances.
“It was probably a little hairier than we would have liked.
“But we created enough chances to have won by more, we had 70 per cent possession.
“I saw a lot of really positive things coming from today, things that will be very helpful to us.”