Newcastle interim boss Graeme Jones wants players to leave it all on the court with a performance ‘off the Richter scale’ for 90 minutes to help jump-start his campaign in his first game in charge at Crystal Palace.
Jones will be on the bench at Selhurst Park on Saturday after Steve Bruce’s tenure ended on Wednesday following last weekend’s 3-2 Premier League home loss to Tottenham.
After the Saudi-backed Amanda Staveley takeover was completed, there was an euphoric atmosphere in St James’ Park for a first game of a new era with Newcastle rushing to the lead after just two minutes through Callum Wilson.
Graeme Jones urged Newcastle to deliver a memorable performance against Crystal Palace
Over time, however, his family shortcomings this season were exposed again as the Spurs responded with a 3-1 lead at halftime.
Jones has been asked to take over the next two Premier League matches as the search for Bruce’s successor continues.
The Gateshead-born former Luton boss expects nothing more than total commitment when his team is left without a team at Selhurst Park in search of a first league win.
Jones (right) took over temporarily after Steve Bruce (left) was fired by the new owners
“I think the physical statistics (of the first minutes against Tottenham) would be off the Richter scale, I was keeping it and that was the key,” Jones said. “ I talk a lot about consistent football behavior and consistent football performance, so working towards it is the truth.
“Obviously the results don’t reflect that at the moment, but I work with the guys day after day.
The boys want to get that. They are not difficult in any way, they listen, they try to work, we try to put it into practice, it doesn’t come overnight.
“We have been eight games into the season and he has to arrive sooner rather than later.
Acting Chief Jones (left) wants his stars to show ‘off the Richter scale’ on Saturday
“If we could suppress it, I don’t think we would be second last in the Premier League, we would probably be first.”
Jones added: ‘I spoke to them on Wednesday after it was announced. I just told them ‘it’s a clean slate with everything that has happened before and we start over’.
‘When the team is selected, the players will have chosen themselves or not in some cases, so that has been the culture of the week.
“I like where the guys are both mentally and physically, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
Club President Yasir Al-Rumayyan (C) and Amanda Staveley (R) saw the loss to Spurs
Former Shakhtar Donetsk and Roma coach Paulo Fonseca has emerged as one of the leading candidates for the Newcastle job, with former Bournemouth coach Eddie Howe and former Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre, others saying that are under consideration.
Jones joined the staff at St James’ Park in January having successfully worked under Belgium’s Roberto Martinez, and also spent time as part of Gareth Southgate’s staff in England for the Euro 2020 final during the summer.
Regardless of what the future holds for the club following the £ 305 million acquisition, Jones believes that a change in mindset at all levels can help Newcastle move forward.
‘I know what the elite is like. I had him with Roberto for a long, long time and I’ve seen him with Gareth, with (England assistant coach) Steve Holland and (assistant coach) Chris Powell in the summer, ” Jones said.
Former Shakhtar Donetsk and Roma manager Paulo Fonseca is one of the favorites to take over
I know what it looks like and what it can bring you. Ultimately, that’s what you want to achieve in every aspect of the club, in every job on and off the field.
“Hopefully, with the new owners, that would be the long-term strategy.”
Jones remains determined to help transition his childhood club in any capacity.
“I have spoken with (co-owner) Mehrdad (Ghodoussi) and I have spoken with Amanda and I have had assurances about my long-term future,” he said. But my short-term thought process is just what I can affect, and that’s Palace and then next Saturday.
“ It is important to everyone in the future that I am in the football club and give them my genuine, honest and my best help to move the club forward.
“That is what I will continue to do in whatever role I am assigned, starting with Crystal Palace.”