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Graeme Jones Takes Charge As Interim Manager At Newcastle As Managerial Search Continues

Graeme Jones

October 22, (THEWILL) – As their managerial search persists, Newcastle United’s new owners have asked Graeme Jones to take “interim” charge of the club’s next two matches against Crystal Palace and Chelsea.

Following Steve Bruce’s departure on Wednesday, the 51-year-old, who joined Newcastle as an assistant coach in January, will oversee his first match as caretaker manager at Selhurst Park tomorrow.

The 80 percent majority stakeholders, Amanda Staveley, Mehrdad Ghodoussi, Jamie Reuben, and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), have been interviewing potential permanent successors to Bruce but have yet to decide who will be the next manager.

The consortium has given the interim manager, a lifelong Newcastle supporter, “assurances” that his long-term future is secure, regardless of whether or not his interim tenure is extended.

For the time being, he is preparing to supervise two matches as interim head coach and insists that he is not “looking beyond that”

Jones’ elevation for at least two matches makes a lot of sense in the short term, while Newcastle’s owners figure out which direction they want the club to go in next.

Bruce’s position had long been untenable, both in terms of results and his deteriorating relationship with his fans, and a new face in the dugout was desperately needed.

Jones has only been at the club for nine months, but he is well-liked by the players and will bring new ideas to the table in terms of strategy and tactics. Jones is thought to have had a big hand in the 4-3-1-2 system that was used from January to March and featured split strikers.

Jones was sacked after less than a season at Luton Town, with the club in the Championship relegation zone in 2019-20, in his only managerial role to date. Jones also worked as Roberto Martinez’s assistant for 11 years.

Meanwhile, formal and informal interviews with some managerial candidates have taken place, including with Paulo Fonseca, the former Roma head coach.

However, because the consortium is made up of three parts, each of which receives advice from different sources, the owners have yet to decide who will succeed Bruce in the long run.

Martinez, Belgium’s head coach, Lucien Favre, most recently of Borussia Dortmund, Steven Gerrard, Rangers manager, Eddie Howe, formerly of AFC Bournemouth, and Frank Lampard, who left Chelsea earlier this year, are among the names mentioned.

Should the desired candidate prove unattainable in the short term, Jones or another interim manager could take over for an extended period.

Rafa Benitez, who managed Newcastle from 2016 to 2019, was the consortium’s preferred candidate, but he is now at Everton and will not be leaving Goodison Park because the takeover has taken so long.