Graeme Jones to take charge of Newcastle's next two games after Steve Bruce exit

Graeme Jones
Jones took charge of Luton Town in his only managerial role during the 2019-20 season.

Newcastle interim boss Graeme Jones says he was "upset" to see Steve Bruce leave, but is focused on preparing the team for the next two games.

Bruce was sacked on Wednesday with Newcastle winless and second bottom of the Premier League.

Jones will take charge of Saturday's trip to Crystal Palace and the visit of Chelsea next week.

"Initially I was upset to be honest, I had a great working relationship with Steve," he said.

Jones added: "So, initially with Wednesday, it was difficult, but we all know the speed of football, we had to move and because if you miss a session you're behind. We had to get the boys ready for the game.

"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 focused on preparing the team for those games."

Part-owner Amanda Staveley and the Saudi-Arabian-backed consortium completed their buyout of the club from Mike Ashley earlier this month, and made a decision on Bruce's future after Sunday's 3-2 defeat to Tottenham, which was his 1,000th game in management.

Talks have been held with former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca over succeeding Bruce, but no decision is reported to be imminent.

Gateshead-born Jones, 51, is a boyhood Newcastle fan, but says he has been professional as he prepares for the match at Selhurst Park.

"I am motivated more than anywhere I've been," he added. "I know the culture of this club and I'm focused on doing the best I can."

Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka is the only absentee through injury, but Jonjo Shelvey is suspended after his red card against Spurs.

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