Newcastle’s preparations for the 2021-22 campaign have been hit by a blow, with Karl Darlow testing positive for coronavirus just as their pre-season kicks-off.
The Magpies are on training camp in Yorkshire and organised two separate 2pm kick-offs on Sunday, with League Two side Harrogate Town and National League North side York City hosting the top-flight outfit.
Steve Bruce and his coaching staff had planned to send a mixture of under-23 and first-team stars to both matches, but Darlow’s positive result following routing tests has thrown a spanner in the works.
Karl Darlow has tested positive for Covid-19, affecting Newcastle United’s pre-season plans
The keeper has been preparing for the new season in York, but now must isolate for 10 days
The keeper has now been plunged into a 10-day isolation, a frustrating setback as the St James’ Park side gear-up for the new season.
The club announced that Mark Gillespie and Freddie Woodman were close contacts with Darlow and will also quarantine, despite retuning negative results alongside the rest of the squad.
‘Thankfully, everyone else has been tested again and all those test results were negative,’ Bruce told the club’s website.
Steve Bruce planned to send a mixture of players to two separate games on Sunday afternoon
Freddie Woodman alongside fellow keeper Mark Gillespie will also be forced into isolation
‘Because there has been a positive case, a first team group will travel to York on Sunday and the match at Harrogate will now be made up of under 23s players.
‘I have spoken to Simon Weaver, who was very understanding, and I would like to apologise to any Harrogate supporters who have bought tickets thinking first team players were coming.
‘Ultimately, we have to follow the advice from medical professionals and take proactive steps to protect players and we simply can’t mix up the dressing rooms, which was our initial plan.’
Newcastle will be keen to continue their storming form