Nathan Jones: Brighton coach backs Yeovil Town to stay up

Brighton assistant head coach Nathan Jones has backed former club Yeovil to avoid relegation from the Championship.

The 40-year-old spent seven years with the Glovers as a player and then as part of the coaching staff.

He told BBC Sussex: "I genuinely believe they will survive this year as they have a team ethic, a work ethic and a club mentality.

"It will be difficult but because of their resources - not because of how they do things."

Yeovil are enjoying their first-ever season in the second tier of English football after beating Brentford in the League One play-off final in May.

However, the Somerset side are currently in the Championship relegation zone after winning just one of their opening 11 games of the season.

"Yeovil were punching above their weight in League One," Jones continued. "They have done fantastically well and it is an outstanding story.

"I would imagine they knew it would be relatively difficult [this season] with the resources they had, not being condescending to the club."

On Saturday Jones returns to Huish Park for the first time since leaving the Glovers last summer.

Nathan Jones

There are fantastic people at Yeovil - the chairman, the owner and the board - and I made a lot of good friends

Nathan Jones Former Brighton & Yeovil defender

He initially joined Yeovil in 2005, during manager Gary Johnson's first spell in charge of the club, following five years with Brighton. Now back at the Seagulls as part of Oscar Garcia's coaching staff, Jones says he loved his seven-year stay in the West Country.

"I left Brighton in 2005 and was at a stage of my career where I was 32 and I needed to choose my next move carefully as I wanted to play for as long as I could," he said. "I was very, very fit and I knew I could play.

"It was about being at the right club that gave me the right motivation and played the right way.

"I had five offers. All of them were bigger clubs than Yeovil but I spoke to Gary and I felt it would be the right fit. It couldn't have gone any better.

"I ended up playing until I was 39 and through my own choice really leaving the club.

"There are fantastic people there - the chairman, the owner and the board - and I made a lot of good friends. I have got a lot of memories.

"Both clubs have gone from strength to strength in equal measure. It will be a good day and I look forward to it."