GRAEME JONES will take charge of Newcastle’s next two games as the new owners take their time to find a new manager.
The Magpies’ interim boss will be in the dug-out tomorrow at Crystal Palace and next week at home to Chelsea after Steve Bruce’s sacking.
The former Luton manager is a boyhood Toon fan and arrived in January as Newcastle flirted with relegation.
They are winless after eight games so far this season, with Jones on a mission to propel them up the table before a permanent gaffer is found.
Paulo Fonseca held talks with the club on Wednesday but they plan to speak to a number of other candidates before making a final decision.
And Jones said: “I spoke to the owners on Wednesday morning, and they asked me to take the team on an interim basis for the next two games.
“I’m fully focussed on preparing the team as best I can. I’m motivated in a completely different way than anywhere I’ve ever been.
“I came as a four year old with my father watching Supermac (Malcolm Macdonald) in 1974/75 and was a supporter in the Gallowgate during the Kevin Keegan era.
“I know the culture of this club. Whether I was here or not, I would still only be interested in their results.
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“Initially, I was upset when Steve went because I had a great working relationship with him. You don’t want to be around that because it means it hasn’t worked.”
As the search for a new manager hots up, Jones revealed he has been given assurances from part-owner Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi that there will be a role for him going forward.
Bruce’s final game was last Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to Tottenham. Newcastle flew out of the traps in a frenzied atmosphere but ran out of steam before Spurs picked them apart.
And Jones hopes to bottle up those first few minutes at St James' Park last weekend and provide a new manager bounce to get the Mags up and running.
He said: “If we could bottle it up I don’t think we’d be second bottom – we’d be near the top.
“I can’t answer why it (the new manager bounce) exists. I hope for that tomorrow but the proof will be in the pudding.
I spoke to the players… I said to them it’s a clean slate.
“Over the last three days, all players have had the same experience tactically. Whatever team I pick, they’ll all know their jobs.
“I spoke to the players on Wednesday after it (Bruce’s departure) was announced. I said to them that it’s a clean slate.
“Everything that has gone on before, I will assess you on the actions over the next three days. I’ve not picked any team – football makes those decisions, not me – I’m just the assessor.”
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez worked with Jones at Everton, Swansea and Wigan, and has been also linked with the role.
And Jones said: “Me and Rob started together. We have the same view on the game.
“I know how he will be thinking. He will be doing everything for Belgium and I am doing the same for Newcastle.
"t is names, speculation. The only fact I know is I am in interim charge.”
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