Football: Positive coronavirus test scuppers Howe's debut as Newcastle manager

Howe (centre) said on Newcastle's website he was disappointed to miss the club's match against Brentford. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Eddie Howe will miss what should have been his first match as Newcastle manager, at home to Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday, after testing positive for Covid-19.

"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 told Newcastle's website on Friday (Nov 19).

"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."

The 43-year-old former Bournemouth manager added: "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."

Assistant coaches Jason Tindall and Graeme Jones will lead Newcastle in Howe's absence, the club said.

Newcastle are still searching for a first Premier League win of the season but there is renewed optimism at the northeast side following a recent Saudi-led takeover.

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