Graeme Jones has admitted that Joelinton did not deserve to be dropped against Crystal Palace after a series of 'excellent' displays for Newcastle United.

Joelinton started all of Steve Bruce's final five games in charge before the 60-year-old left the club by mutual consent last Wednesday.

Jones has been taken charge on an interim basis in the meantime and the former assistant vowed to give his players a clean slate and judge them solely on their performances in training ahead of the trip to Selhurst Park.

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Joelinton ended up dropping out after Jones recalled Emil Krafth and switched to a back five, but the 51-year-old was keen to stress it had nothing to do with the record signing's application in training.

"Joelinton has been excellent these last few weeks. He didn't deserve to be left out," Jones told reporters on Zoom after the 1-1 draw.

"I've been speaking to Joe a lot now that he's been giving us a level of performance that he's competent with and he's getting stronger, but I've said to Joe, 'We need to add goals to your game. That's where you are. You've got a good base.'

"I wanted to play a front two. I think Joe's best position is left wing in a 3-4-3 or left wing in a 4-3-3 - whatever it is. Tactically, I wanted to go with that shape so that's how Joelinton missed out."

Joe Willock also dropped to the bench on Saturday as the midfielder continues to build up his fitness after requiring injections to play in recent weeks due to a toe injury.

Willock entered the fray with Miguel Almiron midway through the second half before Joelinton replaced Allan Saint-Maximin late on.

The trio would have loved to have started on Saturday, but Jones made sure they knew they still had a huge part to play from the bench.

"The subs were ready," he added. "I spoke before the game when I named the team. I didn't name the team first - I named the substitutes first.

"I explained how important their roles were because you don't win with 11 players - you win with 20.

"The support to the rest of the teams from the subs...I felt that the three players that came on the pitch gave us a lot and managed to get us a point at Crystal Palace. That's the Premier League. That's where we are."

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