Welsh manager Nathan Jones has admitted he is skating on very thin ice that could finally crack at Swansea City today if his Stoke team lose again.
The Stoke manager believes he has the backing of the club’s owners but is well aware there will be a limit to their patience.
“They’ve appointed me and trusted me more than I have deserved if I’m honest, but they know the work I do and I’m a fighter who is strong,” Jones said in a pre-match press conference.
Stoke have won one Championship match out of their last 21 – a desperate run that goes back to March and a decline the former Luton Town manager has been unable to halt since he took charge in January.
Only a few months ago, Jones, 46, was considered a youngish manager on the rise and was even mentioned as a future Wales appointment.
But the Rhondda-born former Brighton defender has yet to win a game this season and another defeat against the table-topping Swans is likely to spell the end.
Yet he insisted the club’s owners are still behind him and added: “I know they are fully behind me because if they weren’t I would have been gone a long time ago.
“If results continue as they are, I’m not dumb or stupid, there is a certain time limit regardless of whether the owners set one or not.
“Even if they said ‘If you don’t win at the weekend, that will be it’ I wouldn’t come out and say that. However, that’s not been said to me but I’m not naive enough to think that this can continue.”
It may seem a mis-match but Wales defender Connor Roberts insists the Swans will not underestimate struggling Stoke despite the chasm between the sides this season.
Today’s clash at the Liberty Stadium pits top against bottom in the Championship, with Steve Cooper’s side having taken 21 points from their first 10 games, 19 more than their woefully out-of-form opponents.
However, Roberts is taking nothing for granted after being part of the Swansea side beaten 3-2 by Ipswich at home at the same stage of last season, when the visitors had drawn six and lost five of their first 11 league games.
“If you look at their team, they’ve got some really good players,” said Roberts.
“I think they’ve just been a little bit unlucky with results and individual errors and they will be coming down to us determined to put things right.
“You cannot underestimate any side in the Championship. Any side can beat any other on any given day so we have to focus on our own game.
“Our goal is to be top of the table going into the international break. The only way we’re going to do that is by performing well and getting a good result on Saturday.”