Interim manager Graeme Jones has backed the Newcastle United owners to appoint the right man to succeed Steve Bruce and outlined Eddie Howe’s credentials for the job.
The Magpies are still without a permanent boss after opting to part company with Bruce on October 20. Many names have been mentioned as possible candidates, with Unai Emery thought to be first choice. However, the Spaniard turned down the chance to move to Tyneside and remains with Villarreal.
Paulo Fonseca has also been linked with the post but it seems as though Howe is now favourite for the St James’ Park hotseat. He is still out of work after leaving Bournemouth in the summer of 2020.
Jones refused to be drawn on whether Howe will be Newcastle manager. But he certainly feels the former defender has the right profile for the job.
“Eddie has managed 550 games, 200 in the Premier League. He’s 43 years old,” he told reporters (via The Gazette) at Friday’s press conference. “He comes with a wealth of experience, knows the league, but it’s not written in stone. There’s been nothing said and confirmed by the club so we’ll have to wait and see.”
Jones was appointed Cherries assistant manager after Howe’s departure in the summer of 2020. He did not work with Howe but saw the remnants of methods put in place by the former Burnley chief.
“I got an inside view of what their method of work was and it’s impressive,” he added. It’s elite. I felt like I learnt when I was down there.
And, pushed further on Howe’s methods, he continued: “High-tempo, attacking football with momentum.
“Very pragmatic, and they would pay attention to the off-the-ball aspect, because you’re only as good as how you defend.”
Jones backs lengthy selection process
Most pundits felt Newcastle would have had a new manager in place by now. The north-east outfit are next in action on Saturday when they travel to the Amex Stadium to face Brighton.
It remains to be seen if Howe is in the stands but Jones understands why it has taken so long.
“I know the owners have done their due diligence,” he said. “That’s why it’s taken a bit of time. The more information you receive, the longer you take, the closer you’re going to get to making the right decision.
“I’m here to do the best I can for the football club and that’s what I’ve done. An interim period means uncertainty but we’ve managed that and have been open and honest with the boys.”