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Newcastle ban handshakes at training ground over coronavirus fears

By Vincent Ashitey
Players and staff greet one another with a handshake every morning at the training ground
Players and staff greet one another with a handshake every morning at the training ground

Newcastle have banned their players from shaking hands with each other amid the fear of coronavirus.

The Magpies have long since had a training-ground tradition whereby players and staff greet one another with a handshake every morning.

But Steve Bruce revealed: ‘We have a ritual where we shake hands every morning. We’ve stopped that on the advice of the doctor.

‘We have a superb doctor here and he’ll keep us informed. We’re glued to the TV and let us hope it doesn’t get any worse in this country.’

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Newcastle have recent experience of trying to contain a virus after an outbreak of a bug over Christmas.

‘In confined areas - there was a time over Christmas - when there was a virus knocking around and you have to be careful. We’re mindful of a bug sweeping through.

‘We had it at Christmas where four or five were ill, and you just have to stay at home.’

Meanwhile, Bruce is promising a change of system - reverting to four at the back - after two successive defeats and a run of one win in nine matches.

‘It (changing formation) is something we’ve worked on,’ said Bruce. ‘It is glaringly obvious we don’t score enough.

‘Very early on in the season, it was evident they were quite comfortable in what they had done before (under Rafa Benitez).

‘If changing is a new era, then we will try. We were a threat on the counter attack but that has waned over the past few weeks. So you either have to change system or personnel.’ 

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Source: dailymail.co.uk