Newcastle United transfer rumors: Magpies enter race for much-requested England international, Toon plans ambitious Leeds United raid

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Howe was in the dugout for the first time as Newcastle United head coach on Saturday.

The 43-year-old was able to join the squad for the game against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, which Newcastle lost 2-0, after testing negative for Covid-19 – a week after testing positive the saw the home game miss against Brentford, the first since his appointment.

Assistant Jason Tindall had revealed ahead of the game that Howe, having to isolate himself in a hotel room, had struggled earlier in the week.

“He’s feeling a lot better now compared to the start of the week,” Tindall said.

Howe watched each workout and spoke to Tindall several times a day during the week. He is now looking forward to working on the pitch with his players ahead of the hugely important home games against Norwich City and Burnley.

Asked about the week, Howe said: “Very difficult I think. The whole of the past week has been tough, really, in terms of missing the game.

“It was very difficult not to be with the players and the fans in the first game, and then not being in training this week was, again, very difficult for me.

“I really want to immerse myself in the players. I didn’t have that opportunity in the second week, but it was what it was. The players and staff were very good in my absence. looked at the workout in return, but I was just not there to deliver it.

Newcastle were beaten by second half goals from Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli at the Emirates Stadium, where Callum Wilson saw a request for a penalty kick overturned.

Reflecting on the play, Howe said, “For us I thought the first third was very good, the middle third not so good and the last third very good.

“I thought we probably had a little bit of pressure just after half-time and just before half-time. I thought Arsenal played well in this part of the game.

“The key moment has to be Callum Wilson head-to-head, a chance to equalize. The penalty is not given. I haven’t seen him again, I’m just relying on my live reaction. don’t know why Callum wouldn’t go there if he’s not dirty.

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