Graeme Jones issues managerial update at Newcastle United

Graeme Jones has issued a managerial update at Newcastle United.

The club is close to appointing Eddie Howe as its next head coach following extensive talks this week.

However, Jones, put in charge on an interim basis following the departure of Steve Bruce last month, will take charge of the team for tomorrow’s game against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.

“I’m taking it,” said Jones. “I’ve prepared the team all week. Obviously, the owners have communicated with me, so I know where we are with things.

Graeme Jones.

“I’ve never lost focus, the lads haven’t lost focus. We know we’ve got a big game tomorrow. I feel like the team are well prepared, and we’re looking forward to the game."

Jones was initially told that he’d be in charge for two games.

"I’m here to do the best I can for the football club, and that’s what I’ve done,” said Jones. “My conscience is absolutely clear. That’s what it is, an interim period, which means uncertainty. But I think we’ve managed that between us, been very honest with the boys.

"That’s football. The biggest quality you need in football is to be adaptable.

“We’ve focused on the opponent, focused on us, tried to nudge it along. It doesn’t happen overnight. Tried to nudge it along after Chelsea, have a little bit better in certain areas. Tried to be honest with the boys at all times.

"They’re not mugs, they’re elite players, which means elite brains. I’ve been delighted with the response, really.”

Asked about Howe, Jones said: “We’re still in the speculation stage. I’m obviously very aware of what’s going on out there. I can’t give you any definites. I can’t confirm anything. The only thing I can confirm is that I’m taking the team at Brighton tomorrow.”

Jones was asked if he expected the Brighton game to be his last match in charge.

The 51-year-old said: "I know it’s the international break, and there’s a couple of weeks (before the next game) … so let’s get a nice, positive performance, and hopefully a positive result, catch our breath, and see where we are.”

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