FOUNDATIONS: Jones believes he is handing over ‘improving’ Newcastle
PA - Gareth Fuller
Newcastle interim manager Graeme Jones believes he will be handing over an improving side after Isaac Hayden’s equaliser forced a 1-1 draw at 10-man Brighton.
The result lifted the Magpies off the foot of the Premier League table in front of their prospective new boss Eddie Howe.
Brighton took the lead from the penalty spot through Leandro Trossard but, against the run of play, Newcastle struck a leveller in the 65th minute when the ball fell to Hayden, who volleyed into the back of the net.
Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez was sent off at the death for impeding Callum Wilson, with defender Lewis Dunk forced to briefly take the gloves and go between the sticks, yet the Seagulls held on.
“I think (the new manager) needs to build on what he’s seen tonight, I think he’s seen a togetherness, I think he’s seen a team that added a bit more possession, bit more control, especially second half on the ball,” Jones said.
“I think he’ll inherit a team that off the ball was prepared and capable of going and pressing a brilliant Brighton team with pressing football and keeping high up the pitch.
“So I think he’ll have seen that it’s improved from Crystal Palace to tonight.”
Former Bournemouth manager Howe was in the crowd at the Amex Stadium as the Magpies edge closer to making an appointment.
The 43-year-old was pictured sitting in the stands next to Amanda Staveley, whose consortium bought out Mike Ashley last month, with Newcastle understood to have agreed a deal in principle with Howe.
However Jones said he did not have any contact with the prospective manager.
“Eddie is professional man, he would have realised that I was doing the game and I planned it and he left me alone to focus on it,” the Magpies interim boss said.
“It’s good to see him at the game, I’ll have to wait and see what the outcome of that is still. I’ve just got on with things.”
Brighton manager Graham Potter also spoke highly of Howe, and believes he will inherit a squad containing quality.
“His CV and what he achieved at Bournemouth I think speaks for itself,” the Seagulls boss said.
“He’s got a lot of experience in the Premier League. He has probably had a year or so off which I think will probably be beneficial because I think you can reflect and you can re-energise and you can come back with the things you can do well and the things you can improve, which is normal.
“He’s a fantastic coach. He’ll get them organised and he’ll provide a clarity to what they’re doing.”
They’ve got some really good players, they’ve got Joelinton coming on as a sub, Allan Saint-Maximin on the turnover is as good as you are going to get in this league, Callum Wilson is a proven striker. Shelvey, Fraser, (Joe) Willock in midfield, so they’ve got some really good players.”
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