Eddie Howe to miss first game as Newcastle boss against Brentford and watch from HOTEL room after positive Covid test
19th November 2021

EDDIE HOWE will boss his first Newcastle game from a HOTEL room after catching Covid.

The new Toon manager tested positive last night and will now have to self-isolate for ten days.

However, Howe will FaceTime every player individually before today’s Brentford clash and will be in “constant communication” with assistants Jason Tindall and Graeme Jones at St James’ Park.

Howe, who has been living in a hotel since he was appointed Magpies manager 12 days ago, took training yesterday before the random test result, sparking fears players could catch the virus.

He said: “I’m very disappointed I won’t be at St James’ Park tomorrow, but it is incredibly important I follow the guidelines and self-isolate.”

The government’s ten-day guidance means Howe will also miss next Saturday’s Prem match at Arsenal.

A Newcastle insider said: “This is typical Newcastle.”

But Howe added: “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.

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

The Toon Army were buzzing to welcome Steve Bruce’s replacement, but there was a sense of deflation on Tyneside last night.

Wor Flags had made a huge flag to unfurl at St James’ Park heralding the start of the Howe era.

But they tweeted: “Damn, we may need a new display. Add this to the ‘Peak Newcastle United list.’”

After Howe’s positive test, Mehrdad Ghodoussi, husband of part-owner Amanda Staveley said: “Let’s put all our might behind the team tomorrow, let’s roar and let the world know, this is our house, this is Newcastle.”

Newcastle also confirmed yesterday that managing director Lee Charnley was leaving after 22 years at the club, and that they were stepping up the search for a new chief executive.

The Howe shock came just hours after Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne also tested positive for Covid and is set to miss three key City matches.

He is out of Sunday's Prem clash with Everton and the Champions League showdown with Paris Saint Germain on Wednesday and also set to West Ham next Sunday.

De Bruyne, 30, played 90 minutes in Belgium’s 1-1 draw with Wales in Cardiff on Tuesday.

But the following day he informed City boss Pep Guardiola he had returned a positive test – and now has to isolate at home.

Guardiola said: “Kevin got a positive from Covid with Belgium so will be 10 days, but he’s here in England.

“He was vaccinated so he was more protected and hopefully he will have only minor symptoms.

“The human being is more important that anything else. We have to be careful because people are still dying in this pandemic.

“The important thing is that he comes back when he is negative and he will start to train with us as soon as possible.”

Guardiola also confirmed Jack Grealish and Phil Foden have returned from international duty with injuries.

Foden has a chance of making it back in time – but £100million record signing Grealish is likely to miss the clash with the Toffees.

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