Former Bournemouth skipper Simon Francis has revealed that Callum Wilson and Matt Ritchie have been “singing the praises” of new first-team coach Graeme Jones.
We have seen a huge improvement in Newcastle since bringing in the ex-Cherries coach, picking up two wins and a unlucky home defeat to Crystal Palace following a shocking 11 defeats in a row before his arrival.
Now Francis, who left Bournemouth not long after Jones joined the club, has given the lowdown on how his appointment has impacted the mood in the Newcastle camp.
Here is what he said to Sky Sports:
“It came down to the fact that Newcastle are Graeme’s boyhood club and it became an opportunity too good for him to turn down.
“He hadn’t been in the role at Bournemouth too long so I hadn’t actually worked with him on the grass, I met him but that was about as far as it went.
“Listening to the players speak about him, they said tactically he was an excellent coach day-to-day and he brought out the best in a lot of the players.
“We saw that certainly early on for Bournemouth with the results we were having and even speaking to Callum (Wilson) and Matt Ritchie recently, they’ve sung his praises up there as well.
“They said he’s brought in a different and fresher approach and whether that’s necessarily down to the results they’ve had recently, I think a lot of Newcastle fans might see it that way but he’s definitely added something else to that coaching department.
“He’s got them playing a different style of football, he’s working with them day in, day out. It’s been good for them so far no doubt.”
The change has been glaringly obvious for anybody who has watched Newcastle over the past 18 months.
Players like Miggy Almiron now have a lot more freedom to express themselves in advanced areas, and this has resulted in more goals too, with six goals in our last three matches a clear result of the change in emphasis going forward.
With the players we have at our disposal, playing this way has given supporters a fresh burst of confidence about our survival chances. While we may sit 17th in the league, we are seven points above the drop zone and should put enough points on the board between now and May 23rd if we continue to play this way.