FORMER Cherries boss Eddie Howe will miss his first game in charge of Newcastle after testing positive for coronavirus.

The 43-year-old was set to step back into the dugout for the first time since leaving Cherries in August 2020.

But Howe’s wait to return to the touchline will continue after his positive coronavirus result.

He said in a statement on Newcastle’s official website on Friday evening: “I’m very disappointed that I won’t be there with you all at St James’ Park tomorrow, but it is incredibly important that I follow the guidelines and self-isolate.

“I’d like to reassure everyone that I feel fine, and while this is unwelcome news for me, I know it hasn’t derailed our preparations for what is an important game.

“I have been, and will be, in constant communication with my coaching team and the players, both tomorrow and during the week, and I know they will be giving everything on and off the pitch.”

Assistant head coaches Jason Tindall and Graeme Jones will lead the team in Howe’s absence, the club said.