Steve Bruce reveals ongoing COVID concerns at Newcastle United despite virus spread curtailment

Steve Bruce has revealed some of his Newcastle United players are not out of the woods yet when it comes to the club’s COVID-19 outbreak.

Tuesday, 15th December 2020, 4:45 pm

The Magpies boss goes into the club’s midweek trip to Leeds United without a handful of his first-team players and some of his coaches.

And while the virus spread has been curtailed somewhat, those who are suffering with it presently or have just recovered may take some time to get back fighting fit, according to the manager.

"We have got fatigue, despite people coming back. That fatigue is the most worrying,” Bruce said of the potential ‘knock on’ impact of the virus outbreak on his Newcastle United squad.

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Newcastle United's English head coach Steve Bruce gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Newcastle United at Selhurst Park in south London on November 27, 2020.

The Magpies’ Benton training ground was closed for a week and a half following a number of positive tests after the Crystal Palace win late last month. The training ground reopened last Wednesday.

“We will have to monitor things going forward,” added Bruce, whose side face six games in 18 days, starting with the Elland Road trip on Wednesday afternoon.

One player who has, seemingly, shaken off the virus is Federico Fernandez, who revealed his return to training on Instagram on Monday.

The player, according to Bruce, is likely to return to his side – but the manager says he may look to rotate a few who have just returned following bouts of the virus.

“One,” said Bruce when asked about potential Leeds returnees.

"Fernandez has proved negative. He is OK. The one thing I am looking at is the three or four who played, how it has left them in terms of fatigue.

“With that in mind I am probably going to change two or three.

“We are very light in that department (defence). But the performance of Isaac (Hayden) was excellent. That is the silver lining – Isaac can play there and play at a very good level.

“The fatigue, tiredness was the big thing. Isaac is arguably our fittest player, it has no boundaries this thing.

“(We’ve had) Three negative tests in last few days. Looks like we have got to the bottom of it. The common sense in shutting us down has paid dividends.”

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