EDDIE HOWE will finally be confirmed as Newcastle United’s new head coach in the next 24 hours – and is ready to put his new side through an intensive training schedule during the two-week international break.

Howe was in the directors’ box at the Amex Stadium on Saturday night, sitting between Magpies co-owner Amanda Staveley and his long-term assistant, Jason Tindall, as Newcastle came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw with Brighton.

Earlier in the day, reports had emerged suggesting his appointment was in jeopardy because of ongoing discussions over the make-up of his backroom team.

However, his presence at Brighton’s stadium confirmed his continued intention to take charge of Newcastle and sources claim an agreement has been reached over the staff that Howe will be permitted to appoint beneath him.

Tindall will be installed as his number two, with coaching duo Stephen Purches and Simon Weatherstone also set to join the Magpies’ backroom team. It remains to be seen what will happen with Graeme Jones, who has repeatedly claimed he has been promised a senior role within the new set-up.

Jones’ spell as interim manager came to an end with Saturday’s draw, and while the former assistant has drawn up a provisional schedule for the international break, Howe is expected to make some tweaks to reflect his own preferred training regime.

Newcastle’s players are set to be physically extended over the next two weeks, with Howe keen to get a firm handle on the state of the squad he is set to inherit. His predecessor, Steve Bruce, was criticised for giving his players a large number of days off during international periods.

Howe will change that, and the former Bournemouth boss is also understood to be keen to quickly get to work on some of the tactical changes he intends to introduce as he looks to guide Newcastle to safety. This weekend’s results have left the Magpies in 19th position in the Premier League table, five points adrift of safety.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” admitted Jones, in the aftermath of Saturday’s trip to the south coast. “The boys are due to have a couple of recovery days now, but we need to be ready to work because we need to take advantage of this international break.

“It’s a period where we need to become better. We’ll have to wait and see who is in control of that, but as I’ve been saying, you have to be adaptable and ready for anything.

“It’s (the international break) an opportunity, I think they’ll (Howe and his coaches) know that. It’s an opportunity to work, and an opportunity for him to improve on what he’s seen here.

“We still don’t know what’s going to happen, but there were a lot of good things here. If I was in the stands watching that, I’d be thinking, ‘We’ve got a chance here’.”

The recruitment process that is set to end in Howe’s appointment has been running in parallel to Newcastle’s search for a new sporting director.

Staveley and her advisors are keen to address deficiencies in the current executive structure by appointing a sporting director or director of football as well as a new CEO. Lee Charnley, who was the managing director under the previous regime, remains in employment to assist the handover process, but is expected to leave his position soon.

Howe, who is set to sign a two-and-a-half year deal, will have to work closely with whoever is appointed in the sporting director position, and the former Bournemouth boss is reportedly keen to be reunited with Michael Edwards, who is currently sporting director at Liverpool.

The pair first encountered each other when Howe was a player at Portsmouth in the early 2000s and Edwards was a performance analyst at Fratton Park. The pair have both had hugely-successful careers since then and have remained extremely close, indeed Howe met with Edwards on Wednesday as he attended Anfield to watch Liverpool’s Champions League win over Atletico Madrid.

Newcastle have been linked with a number of potential candidates for a sporting director role, most notably North-Easterner Brian Marwood, who is the managing director of global football at City Group, the umbrella group of clubs that features Manchester City, and Marc Overmars, who is currently employed at Ajax.

However, Staveley’s advisory group have a number of strong contacts with Liverpool, and Edwards is understood to be a leading challenger for the position.