Eddie Howe was preparing for his first game in charge of Newcastle United before testing positive for Covid-19, so he’s now unable to lead the Magpies out against Brentford on Saturday afternoon.

The 43-year-old took charge of Newcastle two weeks ago and had the international break to study his players and work on tactics ahead of the Premier League’s result, but now his debut has been spoiled.

Newcastle said on their official website that assistant head coaches Jason Tindall and Graeme Jones will take charge while Howe is absent and fans on social media can’t believe the situation.

Howe, who has to self-isolate for the government-specific number of days, released a statement to fans that read: “I’m very disappointed that I won’t be there with you all at St. James’ Park, 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.” Ahead of Saturday’s clash, Newcastle are 19th in the Premier League with five points from 11 games and have yet to win a match.

They come into the Brentford bout off the back of three defeats and two draws from their last five but will take hope from the Bees’ own poor form. Brentford have lost their last four in the league, so could Newcastle finally get off the mark?

In other news, fans on social media react as Andy Carroll joins Reading on short-term deal