Steve Bruce asks Newcastle hierarchy to fund Covid-19 testing after outbreak ‘skittled’ through his squad leaving a number of players and staff absent for Leeds trip
- An outbreak of Covid has swept through the Newcastle squad in recent weeks
- It led to the training ground being closed and postponing the Aston Villa game
- Outbreak has left two players so poorly they will miss the Christmas schedule
- A number of players and staff will be absent for their trip to Leeds on Wednesday
- His players are being tested three times a week but Bruce wants to keep that up
Steve Bruce has asked Newcastle United’s hierarchy to fund additional Covid-19 testing in light of the outbreak that has left two players so poorly they will miss the Christmas fixtures.
The Magpies have seen at least 10 players and staff contract the virus in recent weeks and several will still be absent for Wednesday evening’s trip to Leeds.
Bruce warned the Premier League at the start of the season they were taking a risk by reducing the mandatory testing from twice weekly to just once.
Steve Bruce has asked Newcastle United’s hierarchy to fund additional Covid-19 testing
The subsequent spread within the club means the squad are currently being tested three times per week, but Bruce does not want that number to revert to one when they are finally free of the virus.
And he has already spoken to managing director Lee Charnley to make sure the club will fund that extra protection.
‘I’ve had a conversation with Lee,’ revealed Bruce. ‘As a club, I think we will do that (fund extra testing). It’s governed by the Premier League, so there are still discussions to be had.
‘But I was the first to bring it up in the league managers’ meeting when I thought we should be tested twice a week. Medical people told me that wasn’t needed.
Bruce was taken aback by how quickly the virus swept through the club earlier this month
‘However, after what I witnessed here, we should all be tested twice a week. The way it skittled through us was quite scary. And these are young, fit athletes. That didn’t matter a jot.
‘We’ve got two really poorly members of staff. We’ve got two players, in particular, who it has had a tough effect on, and they won’t be available for at least a couple of weeks.
‘I think being young and fit helps you recover better, but in the week leading up to Crystal Palace, some of the things that happened really shocked me.
‘The decision from the Premier League and medical staff to shut the training ground down was crucial, otherwise God knows what it would have done. It would have ripped through everybody I would have thought, the way it was going. It was ridiculous.’
Bruce has spoken to Lee Charnley (right) to make sure that the club will fund extra protection