NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — Interim Newcastle manager Graeme Jones said Friday he has been asked to be in charge for the next two Premier League games while the club’s new ownership conducts its search for a successor to Steve Bruce.

Bruce was fired on Wednesday, two weeks after the 300-million-pound ($409 million) takeover by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

Among the candidates being considered is former Shakhtar Donetsk and Roma coach Paulo Fonseca but there appears to be no prospect of a quick appointment.

“I spoke to the owners on Wednesday morning and they have asked me to take the team on an interim basis for the next two games, so Crystal Palace and Chelsea at home,” Jones said at a news conference ahead of the Palace game on Saturday.

“I’ve said previously, I am fully focused on preparing the team the best we can to be competitive in both games.”

Jones joined the backroom staff at St James’ Park in January having worked under Belgium coach Roberto Martinez.

Jones was credited with playing a significant role in Newcastle’s successful fight for Premier League survival last season and went on to be part of England coach Gareth Southgate’s backroom staff for the European Championship.


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