Newcastle caretaker-boss Graeme Jones said the club’s next manager will inherit a “healthy football club pulling in the same direction” after their comeback draw at Brighton.
Eddie Howe was in the stands as Jones oversaw a second-half resurgence from the Magpies to draw 1-1 with the Seagulls, who were reduced to 10 men late on when goalkeeper Robert Sanchez was sent off for denying Callum Wilson a winning goal.
The ex-Bournemouth boss’ position as the club’s next manager is yet to be confirmed and Jones said there had been no contact between the pair before or after the match, but that whoever did take over the reins at St James’ Park would take on a club in a good place – despite sitting 19th in the Premier League table after 11 games.
“It’s easy to fraction in situations like this, but we as a group haven’t allowed it,” he said. “The boys are together. Whoever comes in will inherit a healthy football club pulling in the same direction. You don’t achieve the response in the manner we did if you’re not together. I think that’s what’s most pleasing today.
“I think [the next 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, a bit more control on the ball, particularly in the second half.
“I think he’ll inherit a team that off the ball was prepared and capable of going and pressing a brilliant Brighton team, with a fantastic footballing ‘keeper, high up the pitch. So I think he’ll have seen that it’s improved from Crystal Palace to tonight.”
Newcastle fell behind to a VAR-awarded penalty against Ciaran Clark which had been waved away at first by on-field referee David Coote, and without the opportunity to see the incident again Jones would only refer to the decision as “marginal” as to whether it should have been overturned.
“I wanted to win, the plan was to come here and win but when you have a marginal decision against you again with VAR in the first half it’s easy to feel sorry for yourself,” he said.
“I spoke to the boys at half-time and said nobody else is going to help us – it’s only us who can help us – and the response in the second half was the most pleasing part of today’s match.”
Potter: We lost our way in the game
Brighton manager Graham Potter remained positive despite his side’s winless league run extend to six games with their draw against the Premier League strugglers.
“We didn’t have the points before the game so it’s a point gained,” he said.
“I thought we played well, certainly first half, really well. It’s not easy to play against a team that’s defending deep and has the quality attacking players that they have that can hurt you on the transition.
“So I thought they played really well until about an hour in, then they scored and we probably lost our way a little bit which is something to improve on, but the guys tried and tried.
“It’s hard to control things for 90 minutes in a Premier League game.
“But in the end it’s a point and we move on and it keeps the scoreboard ticking over and we have to just keep trying to improve.”