Graeme Jones is confident Eddie Howe is “more than capable” of handling the Newcastle job if the club appoints him as their new manager.
Interim boss Jones, who will lead the Magpies into their third game since the departure of head coach Steve Bruce at Brighton on Saturday evening, worked briefly under Howe’s former number two Jason Tindall at Bournemouth before heading for St James’ Park, and saw his legacy at close hand.
Newcastle are understood to have reached agreement in principle with the 43-year-old, who spent almost eight years at the Cherries helm, to replace Bruce and asked if he felt he would fit the bill, Jones said: “If it is Eddie, then yes, I do.
“One thing I know about Eddie without working with him, he lives for the game, it’s his whole life.
“If you think you can come to Newcastle United and do it part-time, then you’re mistaken, It requires every ounce you’ve got.
“He’s intense and he’s got exceptional Premier League experience, so if that is the route the club does down, I’m sure he’s more than capable.
“Eddie’s managed 550 games, 200 in the Premier League. He’s 43 years old. He comes with a wealth of experience, knows the league…
“But it’s not written in stone, there’s been nothing said and confirmed by the football club, so we’ll have to wait and see.”
The Magpies’ new owners have been engaged in a lengthy recruitment process since Bruce departed on October 20, identifying Howe and Unai Emery as their top targets and stepping up their efforts to land the former after the Spaniard rejected their advances earlier this week.
Jones said: “I’m sure the owners walking through the door could have appointed a new manager once the gaffer left no problem, but appointing the right manager…
“At this football club, you have to get a bit of a flavour, a bit of experience of this juggernaut that is Newcastle United. You need to know how to manage it, you need to know what the supporters think you need to know what goes on internally.
“This process could not have been avoided and eventually, it will be worth it.”
In the meantime, Jones will remain in charge and attempt to guide the club to a first Premier League victory of the season at the 11th attempt on the south coast.
That will see him go head-to-head with old friend Graham Potter whose Seagulls are currently flying high in eighth place in the table, and he is desperate to wipe the smile off his former Boston team-mate’s face.
Asked about Potter’s success, Jones said: “Graham’s a winner, I’m a winner. I want to win the game, I know he wants to win the game – that’s the industry we’re in.
“He’s a bright, bright English manager and it doesn’t surprise me. But hopefully he’ll have an unhappy face tomorrow night.”