Tottenham Hotspur face Newcastle United at what is set to be a rapturous St. James’ Park on Sunday and Nuno Espirito Santo will be without two players following positive Covid-19 tests
Both men, who trained with the group on Thursday, were shown to have contracted Covid-19 after tests in the last 24 hours.
The two unnamed players must now isolate for 10 days as per Government rules, keeping them out of the game at St James’ Park, a Europa Conference League match against Vitesse Arnhem and the London derby at West Ham next weekend.
The club are understood to be confident that no other players will have to isolate having come into close contact.
In his press conference on Friday afternoon, Spurs boss Nuno Espirito Santo admitted that he has been left with “huge issues” following the latest international break.
The news will bring more frustration for Nuno, who saw his side suffer in the wake of September’s international fixtures when some squad members returned injured and three South American players went to Croatia for 10 days in order to avoid hard quarantine in England.
Spurs signed off before the international break with a 2-1 win against Aston Villa, through a Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg strike and Matt Targett own goal either side of Ollie Watkins’ equaliser.
Nuno said earlier on Friday: “After the international break there are always huge issues that happen. We have problems but I will not say before the game.”
But the break also allowed the Portuguese to work with a number of players who stayed in England and Nuno believes Tottenham had success on the training ground.
“We worked really well, the small group of players with the help of the young lads from the Under-23s to increase the numbers,” he explained.
The match has additional garnered attention on top of the takeover after Steve Bruce’s predicament in the north east was settled for at the least the weekend, surviving the sack which makes Sunday his 1,000th match in management.
The ex-Manchester United defender has met Nuno on multiple occasions and the Spurs boss has paid tribute to him for the “extraordinary” feat.
“I’ve known Bruce a long time,” he began.
“We played against each other, we were both in Championship, so we go a long way back.
“I have huge respect. I know him. And to achieve 1000 games is extraordinary. I have to congratulate him.”
On the speculation. surrounding Bruce’s future, Nuno noted: “It’s speculation, I don’t know what’s going to happen.
“What I know is that we’re going to play Newcastle, and Steve is going to be in charge.”