Manchester United FC

Manchester United confirm coaching staff will miss Newcastle game in self-isolation

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Feb 21, 2021, 11:56 AM GMT
Solskjaer will be without some of his coaches on Sunday
Solskjaer will be without some of his coaches on Sunday | Pool/Getty Images
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Manchester United have confirmed several members of their coaching staff will not be present for their game against Newcastle on Sunday evening as they are self-isolating.

The possible coronavirus outbreak does not appear to have affected any of the playing squad, with the game set to go ahead as planned.

United go into the Magpies game full of confidence from their emphatic Europa League win
United go into the Magpies game full of confidence from their emphatic Europa League win | Pool/Getty Images

United announced the news in a statement on their website, which read: "Nicky Butt and Mark Dempsey will join Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the bench this evening due to some of the coaching staff having to self isolate.

"The home Premier League game against Newcastle United at Old Trafford will kick off at 19:00 GMT."

Butt, who is head of first team development at Old Trafford, does not normally join Solskjaer in the dugout and neither does Dempsey, who is currently in charge of youth development at the club. The Norwegian's normal close confidants include Mike Phelan, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher and Kieran McKenna, and it is likely that one or more of these coaches has been forced into self-isolation.

Following a spike in December and January, the amount of positive coronavirus cases in the Premier League has been decreasing this month. In the most recent round of testing, accounting for the period between 8 and 14 February, there were just two new cases out of the near 3,000 players and staff swabbed.

The absence of their coaching staff in the dugout does not prevent United being heavy favourites going into their meeting with the Magpies. Newcastle are currently hovering one place above the relegation zone, just three points ahead of 17th placed Fulham with a game in hand.

United, meanwhile, are second, ten points adrift of leader Manchester City but four points clear of fifth placed West Ham. There go into the contest fresh off of a terrific 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad on Thursday in the Europa League.

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