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Steve Bruce announces Newcastle United dates for testing and return to training

6 months ago
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When the UK went into lockdown in March, both Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce left Tyneside for their second homes.

Mike Ashley flying to America and Steve Bruce to the North-West (of England).

We haven’t heard anything directly from either of them since, up until now that is.

Steve Bruce now giving a number of interviews ahead of preparations beginning for the return of Premier League football.

Speaking to The Telegraph, the NUFC Head Coach says that all Newcastle players and staff (who will working at the training ground presumably) are to be tested for the virus today (Sunday 17 May).

Steve Bruce adding that if the results are all ok, training is scheduled to back on Tuesday afternoon.

The weekend of Saturday 13 June has been repeatedly put forward as a potential time for matches to kick off again. However, Steve Bruce claims that the players need at least six weeks training, which would mean ideally no matches until the end of May.

Bundesliga clubs returned successfully to playing yesterday after six weeks back in training but that was due to government orders to wait that long, the clubs had wanted to start playing earlier.

Steve Bruce says that if a player does contract the virus, they will be quarantined and need two clear tests before returning to training. Indicating that the odd player becoming infected won’t stop training or indeed the match schedule once started.

This has been the case in Germany and Bundesliga clubs carried on training and preparing despite a small number of positive tests.

Steve Bruce talks hesitantly about what is likely to happen and the obstacles ahead and with people’s health that is understandable. However, Premier League clubs have the massive advantage of having watched Bundesliga clubs train for six weeks and now of course start playing, following their model and learning from issues that did crop up over there, looks the obvious way to go.

Steve Bruce speaking to the Telegraph:

“We will be tested [for the virus] on Sunday, every player and every member of staff.

“Once we get the results back, if everybody is OK, we are pencilled in to start training again at 2pm on Tuesday afternoon.

“If a player becomes infected, he will be quarantined and will need to have two clear tests before they can come back to train.

Danny Rose expressed his concerns, but I’ve spoken to him and he is coming back as well. I don’t think there is a footballer out there who has done more for the NHS throughout this than Danny.

“We’ve listened to what has been said and, with the precautions taken, we will get back to work and start phase one.

“Can we get to that stage where we can have all the players on the pitch together? We don’t know yet.

“Phase one will be mainly fitness work, four or five players on a pitch. Let’s see how we get on.

“If we were doing pre-season, we would have six weeks and probably have six friendly games to get them ready for the first league match. So, we need a good stretch of time here to get them ready. Certainly once we get into stage two, that is vitally important.

“We need enough preparation time to get these players into shape or they are just going to fall down like a pack of cards.

“Most of the managers have the same concerns. We would need at least six weeks.

“I don’t see how we can play games until the back end of June.

“Most of my players are happy with it [football returning]. There was a captain’s meeting the other day as well and as a squad they are happy with the measures that are being put in place. You have to respect everybody’s personal views on it.”

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