Allan Saint-Maximin has denied suffering any lasting effects from Covid-19 while squashing talk of a rift with Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce. Newcastle was dealt a major blow heading into the festive period after a coronavirus outbreak at the club forced the Premier League to cancel their fixture against Aston Villa at the start of the month.
The Magpies training ground was closed for over a week to prevent any further spread of the illness, but the team was able to return to action on December 12, with a 2-1 home win over West Brom temporarily lifting the mood at St James’ Park.
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Bruce, who saw his side plummet back down to earth with a 5-2 defeat away at Leeds United and a 1-1 draw against Fulham the following week, confirmed on Friday that two members of his squad were still dealing with “damaging effects” of Covid-19 after being diagnosed with the disease earlier in the season.
The 59-year-old did not name the duo in question but told reporters at a press conference: “My thoughts are with the two players, and the welfare of them. “It’s frightening when you think they are young and fit and absolutely supreme athletes. If anybody needs reminding of how serious this is, then we have witnessed it.
“We’ve had vomiting, sores, mouth ulcers, no smell, no taste, but the big thing, and which is worrying, is the welfare of one or two of them. It’s not great at all. “That long-term Covid is something which you wouldn’t think possible in young, fit athletes. Unfortunately, it is so.
“They go for a walk for half an hour and then they want to go back to bed… It’s as brutal as that.” Reports had since confirmed that Saint-Maximin and Jamaal Lascelles were the two players laid low with the virus, amid reports of a squad-wide fall out with Bruce in the dressing room.
Saint-Maximin has come out to address both issues ahead of the Magpies’ Carabao Cup quarter-final clash with Brentford on Tuesday, however, insisting he is in perfect health physically and mentally and that he has “no problem” with his manager.
“I feel great. I have no problem, nothing. Not injured,” the French winger said on Instagram Live. “[I have] No problem with the club, with Steve Bruce. I love this trainer a lot and he takes care of me. I love the club, I love the fans. “I love everything, I love my life in England and everything and I feel great. That is the only thing you have to know.”