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Spurs pair available for game at Newcastle after returning false Covid positives

Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – St. James’ Park
(Image credit: Owen Humphreys)

The positive coronavirus tests returned by two Tottenham players after the international break were false positives, the club announced shortly before Sunday’s Premier League match at Newcastle.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s preparations for the St James’ Park encounter had been plunged into chaos on Friday when two players, who trained with the group on Thursday, were shown to have contracted Covid-19 after tests in the previous 24 hours.

However, Spurs revealed 90 minutes before kick-off on Sunday that further analysis had given them a clean bill of health.

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A club statement read: “Following a number of reports regarding the health of our players, the club would like to provide clarity to events of the past 48 hours.

“After further analysis following Premier League protocol, two players – whose names will not be disclosed due to medical confidentiality – returned false positive tests for Covid-19 on Friday after returning from international duty.”

Speaking to Sky Sports shortly before kick-off, head coach Nuno also did not want to confirm the identity of the pair, saying it was “private”, but acknowledged it had not been the ideal build-up.

The Portuguese, who named an unchanged line-up for the clash, said: “It causes some problems in the preparation for the game but we have to manage and try to adapt and we did so, so we are ready to play.”