LONDON (Reuters) - England rugby union coach Eddie Jones expressed sympathy for Claudio Ranieri on Friday after the Italian was sacked as Leicester City coach less than 300 days after leading them to the Premier League title.
Jones is riding the crest of a wave with his England side bidding to stretch their winning run to 17 games when they face Italy in the Six Nations on Sunday, but the Australian knows only too well that success can be short-lived.
“It’s a hard job and you can understand why coaches are so insecure, why we are always looking over our shoulder,” Jones, who was sacked by Australia in 2005, told reporters.
”Life’s all about short-term, it’s happened in sport, the same thing. Everyone wants results like that and if you don’t get them soon, you know you are going to be saying goodbye.
“I feel sorry for the guy. I must admit, I feel a lot of sympathy for him because things change, teams change,” Jones added.
“He’s probably doing the same job he did last season but it’s not good enough this year.”
While it seems inconceivable that England will be looking for a new coach anytime soon, Jones said top-level sport can be fickle and he used the Leicester example when addressing his players at training on Friday.
“I said to the guys this morning that Leicester City is a great example of what happens with success and the blame that is there,” he said.
“At the end of the day the responsibility is with the players and staff. We have a joint responsibility to lead the team forward.”
It has been reported that player power led to Ranieri’s downfall with players becoming softened by their huge salaries, but Jones thinks that is an over-simplification.
”I’ve seen some of the wages they’re on - that’d be nice,“ Jones said. ”I don’t think money’s got anything to do with it.
“It’s a nice easy story to say players have money and power but if you have the right structure with the right people then the power’s in the right place.”
He has been impressed with Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, however, suggesting the Italian runs a tight ship at the Premier League leaders.
“If I was a player in a Conte dressing-room, I don’t think I’d be trying to shake the tree,” he said. “You see he knows what he wants, he knows what he wants from his team and if they don’t want to do it, they won’t be there.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond