Jones signed the former Manchester United striker for Southampton and told BBC Sport: "When Sparky played for me, for me to attract him to Southampton was fantastic. He was a great servant for me, a great player, a fantastic pro but he didn't show any inclination that he was going to be or wanted to be a manager.
"He didn't stay behind, he didn't want to coach the kids. I didn't see him want to sit around the office and see what went on so in my time I didn't see that so it was unexpected when he went into management but he's done fantastic and I've got a lot of time for him because he did a fantastic job for me. Not just for what he did on the pitch but around the place where he showed the kids what a good professional he was.
"He came in, did his job and then he went home so what I'm saying is that I didn't see anything.
"Normally if you want to be a manager you are hanging around, you go on coaching courses so whether it just hit him later on and he just really fancied it."