November 10, 2021 Newcastle manger Eddie Howe poses with a shirt during the presentation Action Images via Reuters

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe will miss his first game in charge of the club, a home clash against Brentford on Saturday, after testing positive for COVID-19, the Premier League club said in a statement on Friday.

Howe, who addressed reporters earlier on Friday, tested positive following a routine test and will now isolate in line with government guidelines.

“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,” he told the club website.

“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.”

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

Howe, formerly head coach of Bournemouth, was appointed manager at St James’ Park earlier this month following the dismissal of Steve Bruce.

Newcastle are second from bottom in the league with five points from 11 games.

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