Will Manchester United tolerate another week of underachievement?

NEWCASTLE: Interim manager Graeme Jones has predicted further talks to clarify his Newcastle United future this weekend as the club continue their search for a new manager.

Jones spoke with PCP Capital Partners’ Amanda Staveley and husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi on Thursday, having taken his first game in charge against Crystal Palace last weekend.

And with the St. James’ Park clash against Champions League winners and Premier League leaders Chelsea on Saturday, a game stated to be his last in his new temporary role, Jones thinks further conversations over the next two days are in the offing, although he has no inkling that his spell in the dugout will extend into next week.

Jones said: “I’m not looking past my remit, which is Chelsea.

“I’m sure I’ll have a discussion with the new owners on Saturday night or Sunday and they’ll let me know what the plan is going forward.

“I’m ready for everything. We’ll have to wait and see. It’s in their hands (Newcastle’s owners), not mine.”

He added: “I’m in regular contact with them (the new owners). Nothing’s changed on that front.

“I’m just preparing the team. I know it’s a bit boring for you lads with the old football cliches but that is genuinely where we are as a football club.

“What happens between now and January 1 is going to define our season. I must concentrate on the Chelsea game.

“I’ve not thought about anything, I can assure you.”

Jones, a boyhood Newcastle fan, stated last week that Staveley & Co. had given him long-term assurances about his future at Newcastle, the club he joined in early 2021.

His role under a new manager and regime, however, is yet to be defined. When pushed on his long-term future, former England assistant Jones said: “I have been assured of my future at the football club so that won’t change for me. Whether I am manager or assistant, I will be studying Brighton (Saturday, Nov. 6).

“If I was in that position or an assistant manager you are fully focused on the Chelsea game, you then refresh on Sunday and start work on Monday and prepare the best you can.

“The way I am as a person, I am curious and you want to have an opinion. You can only have an opinion if you watch your own team and your opponent in detail.

“As a manager, you have extra responsibility with the media and players but in terms of preparation that won’t change no matter what role I’m given.”

PCP have been handed the reins at United as part of the £305 million buyout of the football club, completed on Thursday, Oct. 7. Staveley and Ghodoussi’s company own 10 percent of the club, with R&B Sports Media controlling another 10 percent with 80 percent bought up by majority shareholder, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

It is understood that despite PCP having the “on the ground” control of decisions, all major footballing calls must be given the green light by PIF and non-executive chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan.

That includes any decision on a permanent replacement for Steve Bruce, who left the club last week by “mutual consent.”

Swiss former Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre is understood to be the favorite for the post, what with the prospect of Portuguese Paulo Fonseca now being handed the job fading fast.

Other names linked with the post include Rangers’ manager Steven Gerrard, Everton’s Rafa Benitez, Ajax’s Eric ten Hag and Belgium boss Roberto Martinez.

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