New Stoke boss Nathan Jones refused to criticise Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa for his controversial spying tactics – but did use an awkward Miley Cyrus analogy in discussing the job he has on his hands with the Potters.
Leaders Leeds come to the bet365 Stadium in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday after the spying row continued this week.
Bielsa admitted to sending a spy who was caught at Derby’s training ground before last week’s 2-0 win and has covertly watched all their league rivals this season.
The Argentine has remained unapologetic over his actions and held a 70 minute presentation over his scouting methods in the week.
Jones, appointed last week from Luton, said: “First of all, I think I’ve had more of a trying week than he has, what with moving to a new club. It’s difficult to comment and take any moral high ground.
“We have to focus on what we do, we’re embarking on our first step. Plus, he’s been quite complimentary to me in the press.
“It’s a very difficult thing to breach. People will think it’s wrong…but people prepare in different ways. For me to sit here and say it’s wrong…I don’t think so. For me, the focus is doing the best for Stoke City.
“We haven’t got a lot of secrets here. We are what we are.
“I spend hours watching games with analysts. It’s not revolutionary. It’s the first time that someone has given such a demonstration about it. If you want, one day we’ll do it for you.”
Jones on Stoke struggles
Jones has lost his opening two games as manager to Brentford and Shrewsbury, blowing a 2-0 lead against the Shrews to crash out of the FA Cup 3-2 on Tuesday.
They are 15th in the table, eight points adrift of the top six, with Jones citing singer Miley Cyrus as inspiration to get supporters onside.
He said: “We will get there but there are a few things in between. I want fans to be relatively patient.
“If they buy into everything from the beginning, how good will it feel when we’re in the place we want to be?
“In the words of Miley Cyrus, it’s the climb.”
Asked for his thoughts on a potential breach of security involving Stoke, Jones added: “I have no idea. To be honest there are a pile of things going through my mind which affect my sleep at the moment. That’s in there but it’s no higher or lower than everything else.
“He’s seen 26 games of Luton, he’s seen the last two of us here, how much information can he have?
“I’m not 100 per cent comfortable with what’s gone on but I’d be a liar and naive to think certain information exchanges have not gone on at other clubs through the years – however you want to do that.”
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