Howe to miss first Newcastle game after positive Covid-19 test

Eddie Howe will miss his first match in charge of Newcastle United after testing positive for Covid-19.

The Magpies have confirmed that Jason Tindall and Graeme Jones will lead the team on Saturday against Brentford in his absence.

Howe was announced as the north east club’s new head coach earlier this month following the departure of Steve Bruce.

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A club statement read: “Eddie will now self-isolate in line with government guidance, meaning he will miss Saturday’s home match against Brentford at St. James’ Park – the first fixture since his arrival at the club.

“Assistant head coaches Jason Tindall and Graeme Jones will lead the team in Eddie’s absence.”

Howe said: “I’m very disappointed that I won’t be there with you all at St. James’ Park tomorrow, but it is incredibly important that I follow the guidelines and self-isolate.

“I’d like to reassure everyone that I feel fine, and while this is unwelcome news for me, I know it hasn’t derailed our preparations for what is an important game.

“I have been, and will be, in constant communication with my coaching team and the players, both tomorrow and during the week, and I know they will be giving everything on and off the pitch.”

The former Bournemouth boss discussed the match prior to his positive test result and hailed the work of his players in the build-up to Saturday’s match at St James’ Park.

“Really good 10 days, thoroughly enjoyed it and the players have responded well,” the 43-year-old said.

“We have covered a lot and will try to implement philosophy in a steady way, and we definitely want to shape team in the way we want to go forward. I’ve been very impressed by the response and attitude of everybody.

“We planned very well, prior to me getting job. I have been preparing for this moment for a long time, as in my return to management to make sure that when I came in I was ready to go from day one and that’s served me well in this job.

You go in and you can implement your ideas straight away. I have slightly tweaked my philosophy from previous years because you have to evolve. We have covered a lot of bases and hopefully we have got the balance right.”

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