Steve Bruce names coach 'excelling' in his Newcastle United role as Graeme Jones joins club

Graeme Jones was always Newcastle United's “No.1 choice”, according to Steve Bruce.

Friday, 29th January 2021, 4:45 pm

Jones this week joined the club as an “assistant” to under-pressure Bruce after the relegation-threatened club agreed a £250,000 compensation package with Bournemouth.

The 50-year-old joins Stephen Clemence, Steve Agnew, Steve Harper and Ben Dawson on Bruce’s coaching team.

Bruce says he had been left short late last year after Agnew was laid low by Covid-19. Clemence also needed time with his family after losing his father Ray.

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Gateshead-born Jones, second-favourite behind Rafa Benitez with bookmakers to be the next Newcastle manager, will have a significant input into team affairs at 16th-placed Newcastle.

Asked if Jones would be involved at the “coal face”, Bruce said: "Yeah, he will be.

"With the problems Stephen Clemence has had in his personal life, and then, unfortunately, Steve Agnew being struck down with Covid for the best part of five weeks, we were very, very short. I have to tell you this wasn’t just an instant, knee-jerk reaction because we’ve had a couple of bad results.

"It’s something that we’ve looked at for the best part of two months now. We were short in that area.

Steve Agnew, left, and Stephen Clemence, right, talk to Steve Harper.

"You look at my staff, I brought in Steve Harper to be the link between the Academy and the first team, which he’s excelling at. I brought up Ben Dawson from the Academy, because basically, we were short of bodies, short of people.

"I had a conversation with Lee (Charnley, United’s managing director) to see if we could go and get somebody who had a different idea, and different freshness, to work alongside Stephen Clemence and Steve Agnew, and he agreed to it.

"Then we’ve made a few phone calls to a few people, but Graeme was always our No.1 choice, because of what he’s been able to achieve in his career, and worked with top, top people, as in Belgium.

"And, of course, he’s a Geordie, and been away for 35 years, so the pull of coming back and working for the club attracted him more than anything.

Graeme Jones.

"We welcome him on board. He’s only been in a couple of days, but, certainly, he's come in with some fresh ideas to sit alongside and work alongside the two Steves.”

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