Eddie Howe will miss what should have been his first match as Newcastle coach at home against Brentford on Saturday in the twelfth round of the English Football League, due to his infection with the “Covid-19” virus.
“I am very disappointed that I will not be there with all of you at St James’ Park tomorrow, but it is very important that I follow the instructions and self-isolate,” Howe told Newcastle’s website on Friday.
“I would like to assure everyone that I am fine, and while this is unwelcome news for me, I know it will not hamper our preparations for what is an important match.”
“I have been, and will be, in constant contact with my coaching staff and players, tomorrow and during the week, knowing they will do everything they can on and off the pitch,” the 43-year-old added.
The club said assistant coaches Jason Tindall and Graeme Jones would lead Newcastle in the absence of Howe.
Newcastle is still looking for its first win in the league this season, but there is renewed optimism after an investment group that includes the Saudi Public Investment Fund acquired the club.
Newcastle is struggling to avoid relegation to the second level (Championship), as it has not won any of its first 11 matches in the league and is ranked 19th before last with 5 points and a goal difference from Norwich City last.
Newcastle appointed Howe on November 10 to replace former coach Steve Bruce, after the latter departed by mutual agreement in October, 13 days after the acquisition.
Howe stressed during his presentation to the media that he is able to deal with the growing expectations in the English Premier League, noting that Newcastle is “the perfect club for me”.