Soccer-Newcastle caretaker Jones says struggling side needs fresh face

Soccer Football - Premier League - Newcastle United v Chelsea - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - October 30, 2021 Newcastle United caretaker Graeme Jones before the match REUTERS/Scott Heppell

(Reuters) - Newcastle United interim boss Graeme Jones believes the Premier League club are locked in a relegation battle and called on the team's new owners to bring in a permanent manager who can breathe life into their campaign.

Jones took temporary charge after Steve Bruce left by mutual consent earlier this month, two weeks after the club was taken over by a consortium led by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

He guided them to a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace before they suffered a 3-0 defeat against leaders Chelsea on Saturday that left them second from bottom with four points after 10 matches and without a victory.

"We're in a relegation battle. There's no question about that," Jones, whose side were starved of possession and largely defensive, told reporters. "We need to face it like men, stick together and believe we'll come through.

"I think it needs a fresh face. The fans were incredible. It's not a style of football the fans are accustomed to - we want to attack people, we want to score goals.

"But this is the stage we're in. We haven't kept enough clean sheets and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out what the need is at the minute. I haven't spoken to the owners. We'll see what they've got to say tonight or tomorrow."

British media have reported that former AS Roma manager Paulo Fonseca, who was on the radar of Tottenham Hotspur earlier this year, was among the many contenders for the job.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)

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