Newcastle United assistant manager Jason Tindall says the Magpies squad will be buoyed by Eddie Howe’s return to the dugout for Saturday’s Premier League encounter against Arsenal (Arsenal 1/2, Draw 18/5, Newcastle 11/2 – Match Betting).
Howe missed last weekend’s thrilling 3-3 draw against Brentford at St James’ Park, in what would have been his first official game in charge of the Magpies, as he had tested positive for COVID-19.
The former Bournemouth coach was forced to miss training for several days, but he has tested negative ahead of Saturday’s trip to the Emirates Stadium.
Tindall, who took charge against the Bees, says the team have had a great week in training, but he thinks Howe’s return will give everyone a lift of confidence.
He told reporters: “You want your leader and manager here with you, so we’ve missed him as staff, and I’m sure the players have him on the grass and on the sidelines. We are certainly looking forward to having him back, and I’m sure the fans will want him on the touchline.
“It is never easy and more difficult when you have to isolate in a hotel room. He sees training back every day on video. We know he’s hands-on, and we’ve had his influence this week as we’ve prepared for Arsenal.”
“We are aware of the strengths Arsenal have, and you need to get the balance right; we will go to Arsenal and nullify their strengths but look to score goals.”
Howe’s only injury concern is Dwight Gayle, who is struggling with a hamstring problem, while Paul Dummett remains a long-term absentee.
Arsenal have no fresh injury concerns, with Granit Xhaka and Sead Kolasinac still on the sidelines.
The Gunners lost their first game since August last weekend after losing 4-0 to Liverpool, while the Magpies (5/6 to stay up) are yet to win this season and remain bottom of the table.