Eddie Howe issues Newcastle United Covid-19 update ahead of Premier League meeting
Eddie Howe has issued a Covid-19 update at Newcastle United ahead of a Premier League decision on its Christmas fixtures.
Representatives from all 20 clubs will consider a festive “circuit-breaker” at an emergency summit today following a large number of postponements due to coronavirus cases.
Six of the 10 weekend games were called off amid spiking cases of the Omicron variant across the country.
A number of managers, including Brentford’s Thomas Frank, have called for a halt to the fixture programme, but a so-called “festive firebreak” would need the support of 14 or more clubs.
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Newcastle didn’t have any positive cases on their last round of PCR tests, according to Eddie Howe.
“I’m led to believe that we’ve had no Covid cases,” said United’s head coach.
Howe, however, would not be drawn on the club’s stance towards a break after yesterday’s 4-0 loss to Premier League leaders Manchester City at St James’s Park.
"In terms of our stance, that’s something that I’ve not necessarily been involved with in terms of giving an opinion,” said Howe. “We’re being told what to do, following the guidelines and concentrating on the football.”
Howe, however, gave his own view on the mass postponements after last week’s 3-1 loss to Liverpool at Anfield.
“I think the key thing for me, just my opinion, is that I don’t want half the games played and half the games not played,” said Howe.
“I think the league loses something if it becomes disjointed in terms of the number of games played.
"A decision needs to be made for the benefit of the league to make sure there’s integrity of the competition. That would be my view on it. I don’t think we can have half the games played and half the games not played.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says a circuit-breaker would only be useful if all players and staff get booster vaccinations.
“I don’t know, if someone tells me that (a break) is the solution, I’m in – 100%,” said Klopp. “But if we just stop it and don’t do anything, then I don’t see the benefit.”