Jones takes charge of Newcastle games during new manager search

London (AFP) – Newcastle interim boss Graeme Jones confirmed Friday he has been asked to take charge of the next two Premier League games during the search for Steve Bruce's successor.


Bruce's tenure ended on Wednesday following the home defeat to Tottenham last weekend, less than two weeks after a Saudi-led takeover of the club.

Former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca has emerged as a leading candidate, while ex-Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe and former Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre are also said to be under consideration.

However, Jones, who joined the staff at St James' Park in January having worked successfully under Belgium boss Roberto Martinez, will stay focused on the job in hand -- starting at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

"I spoke to the owners on Wednesday morning and they have asked me to take the team on an interim basis for the next two games, so Crystal Palace and Chelsea at home," Jones said on Friday.

"I've said previously, I am fully focused on preparing the team the best we can to be competitive in both games."

Jones expressed sadness following Bruce's exit.

"Initially it was one of upset if I am being honest because I had a great working relationship with Steve," said Jones. "He is a good man.

"You never want to be in and around that in football because it means it has not worked. Initially on Wednesday it was difficult, this is true.

"But we all know the speed of football and how quickly it needs to move on because if you miss a day or you miss a training session, you are not as prepared as you could be for tomorrow's game."

Jones feels Newcastle supporters have plenty to look forward to under the club's ambitious new owners even though they are currently second from bottom of the Premier League.

"We all know that in the long term, if you are going to win leagues or the FA Cup, you have got to have the best players and I am afraid that only money buys that," he said.

"You have got a chance to be in the ball game, to be competitive long term so there is huge hope for the future of the club."