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Newcastle's plans for Crystal Palace hit by three positive coronavirus tests

Louise Taylor
·1-min read
<span>Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

Steve Bruce’s plans for Friday night’s visit to Crystal Palace have been disrupted by three positive Covid-19 tests, with at least one of the unnamed trio a player who would normally have been certain to start at Selhurst Park.

Although Callum Wilson, Newcastle’s top scorer, is fit to feature against Roy Hodgson’s side following a hamstring injury – and hopes to add to his tally of six goals in eight Premier League games since arriving from Bournemouth – Bruce could have done without the self-isolating absentees.

Related: From stewards to toilets: how football clubs are preparing for fans' return | Paul MacInnes

“Covid is one problem we have to manage but I don’t really want to go into individuals,” said Newcastle’s manager, whose assistant, Steve Agnew, missed last Saturday’s home defeat to Chelsea. “We have got two or three individuals [usually] in the training ground at the moment who are self-isolating.”

After successive defeats by Chelsea and Southampton, Bruce – who will be without the injured Andy Carroll – has faced increasing criticism from fans. “We’ve had a difficult couple of weeks,” he said. “We’ve found the last couple of games difficult. We haven’t played well enough. We have to accept that and move on. You have to ride the punches in the Premier League.”