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Announced first team squad away from Newcastle United training ground for 11th day in a row

2 months ago
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The Newcastle United training ground remains closed.

It had been hoped that the Newcastle United squad could return to training on Friday (4 December) but that proved impossible to do despite a deep clean of the facilities, due to the number of positive virus cases continuing to rise.

After Friday came and went with the players still training via individual training plans from home, the focus then shifted to today (Monday 7 December) as the hoped for return to group training.

However, that hasn’t proved to be possible either, with both the BBC and Sky Sports reporting that the Newcastle United training ground remains closed today.

The last time the NUFC first team squad trained was Thursday 26 November, on the eve of the away game at Crystal Palace. Which means that this makes it 11 days in a row where the players haven’t trained together at their usual base.

Various media such as The Mail and Chronicle are reporting that it is hoped that the players can return to the Newcastle United training ground on Tuesday to resume the group training, though that is said to rest largely / totally on what the results of the latest virus tests will show when they find out today.

Exactly how many days training would be deemed enough for Newcastle to be ready to play West Brom is an unknown. However, when the Aston Villa match was postponed, an official Premier League statement made clear that it wasn’t only how many players were having to self-isolate at any particular time which decided whether a game would take place, it was also dependent on both teams having had the chance to prepare and train properly ahead of any particular match.

‘Newcastle United Official Statement – 1 December 2020:’

‘Newcastle United’s Premier League fixture at Aston Villa on Friday, 4th December has been postponed following a significant increase in Covid-19 cases at the Magpies’ Training Centre.

Several Newcastle United players and staff members are now self-isolating at home after returning positive test results in recent days and the club’s Training Centre site has been temporarily closed in order to contain the spread of the virus.

With the Magpies’ first team currently unable to prepare for the match as a group, Newcastle United lodged a request with the Premier League to postpone the fixture at Villa Park, which has been approved by the Premier League Board.

The match, which was set to kick off at 8pm (GMT) on Friday evening, will now be rescheduled and a new date and time will be confirmed in due course. Newcastle United would like to thank Aston Villa Football Club for its understanding.

Newcastle United was one of the first clubs in the country to close its training ground prior to the first national lockdown in March and the club introduced comprehensive Covid-19 protocols in line with Premier League and government guidance to protect its players and staff ahead of Project Restart.

While the club has continued to ensure strict adherence to these protocols, and despite previously experiencing only a very small number of isolated Covid-19 cases, positive test results have risen sharply in recent days.

Accordingly, the club is now is working with Public Health England North East (PHE), local health authorities and the Premier League in line with Covid-19 protocols to identify the source of the outbreak and to ensure the risk of further transmission continues to be minimised.

All players and training ground staff will be re-tested this week and a meeting between the club, Premier League and PHE will take place to assess the test results.

The club will not be naming individuals who have contracted Covid-19 and asks that their privacy is respected.

For the latest coronavirus guidance, please visit gov.uk/coronavirus.’

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