Eddie Howe to miss first Newcastle match in charge after positive Covid test

Newcastle United have confirmed that new manager Eddie Howe will be absent for the club’s first Premier League match since his appointment after he tested positive for Covid-19.

The former Brentford boss was hired during the international break as Steve Bruce’s replacement and faces a tough task to keep the Magpies up after a dismal start to the season leaves them 19th and the only top-flight club without a win so far this season.

In the build-up to his first game in charge, at home to Brentford, he has spoken of an intent to play “brave, attacking football”, but the plans to implement that in the short-term will be hampered by his absence.

However, he says that plans for the match are already in place and he’ll be in contact with those on the bench during the game.

“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,” Howe said in a short statement.

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“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.”

Newcastle confirmed that assistant coaches Jason Tindall and Graeme Jones will lead training and the team into the weekend match in Howe’s absence.

The Magpies are five points from safety after 11 games, with fixtures against Arsenal, Norwich City and Burnley to come in the next couple of weeks.

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