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Newcastle United official statement – Serious blow for Eddie Howe

4 days ago
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Eddie Howe faces a massive challenge turning Newcastle United around on the pitch.

Confirmed as the new NUFC Head Coach on Monday 8 November 2021, the new Newcastle United boss and his backroom team were in at work at the training ground before 7am on their first day of work, Tuesday 9 November.

Eddie Howe and his staff then spending the next ten days carefully preparing his NUFC squad for their opening game today (Saturday 20 November) against Brentford.

Only for a Newcastle United official statement (see below) reveal that Eddie Howe has tested positive for Covid ‘during a routine test on Friday’…

Obviously all our best to Eddie Howe on this hopefully not leading to any serious health issues for the new Head Coach and that no players or other staff members have contracted it.

On a purely football / new job level though, what a serious blow for Eddie Howe as he tries to change the outlook of a team that haven’t won a game for six months and are in serious relegation trouble.

The problems caused by his absence aren’t insurmountable but now even more pressure on Howe’s backroom staff and players, to do the job in his absence. Eddie Howe confirms that he will be in touch with staff and players remotely but obviously that is a poor second best to being there in person.

As I say, not an insurmountable obstacle to getting wins / points and turning this mess on the pitch around at Newcastle United, but what horrific timing.

Whether by chance or design, Eddie Howe was starting off with a four match run of games over a two week stretch that includes three arguably must win games, against three relegation rivals at home.

The next four games are Brentford home (20 Nov), Arsenal away (27 Nov), Norwich home (30 Nov) and Burnley home (4 Dec).

So Eddie Howe obviously can’t be there today and reading the Government guidance, he has to self-isolate for ten days, which after Friday’s positive result means Monday 29 November would be the tenth day, ironically…Eddie Howe’s 44th birthday. Also, the eve of that second key home match against Norwich and only five days before the third against Burnley.

It was a case of everybody (owners, coaches, players, fans) having to pull together to get Newcastle United out of this current, hopefully temporary, relegation mess.

This Eddie Howe blow just takes that to an even higher level.

If you are going to be inside St James Park today, be ready to do your bit.

Newcastle United official statement 19 November 2021:

‘Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe will be absent from the club’s next Premier League match after testing positive for Covid-19 during a routine test on Friday.

Eddie will now self-isolate in line with government guidance, meaning he will miss Saturday’s home match against Brentford at St. James’ Park – the first fixture since his arrival at the club.

Assistant head coaches Jason Tindall and Graeme Jones will lead the team in Eddie’s absence.

Eddie said: “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.

“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.”

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

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