Pep Guardiola has been cleared to travel with the Manchester City squad to Newcastle for Sunday’s Premier League game.
The City boss cancelled his scheduled press conference earlier on Friday after returning an inconclusive coronavirus test result and had been waiting for the result of a follow-up PCR test.
Had that proved positive, Guardiola would have missed the trip to St James’ Park and also the home game against Leicester on Boxing Day during self-isolation.
But City confirmed to the PA news agency on Friday evening that the Spaniard had now tested negative and was able to travel.
City’s scheduled 2pm kick-off at Newcastle on Sunday is one of only five Premier League games to go ahead this weekend following a raft of postponements amid the latest rise in Covid-19 infection rates.
Guardiola, who lost his mother to coronavirus last year, told the club’s official website that all his players barring Ferran Torres were fit, while Joao Cancelo is available after missing the midweek rout of Leeds through suspension.
“Newcastle is a very tough opponent,” Guardiola said. “People will talk about our place in the table or their place in the table but when you go to Newcastle you know what sort of game to expect.
Joao Cancelo is back in contention for City following suspension (Zac Goodwin/PA)
“Now they have a new manager in Eddie (Howe) and we know what a good manager he is.”
Guardiola added: “They have had a tough start to the season but they are a good team with good players and a top manager so we will go there and have to work hard for each other to win the game.
“Every game in the Premier League is tough. Whether you are playing against teams at the top of the table or the bottom.”
City head into the weekend’s decimated round of fixtures with a one-point lead at the top of the table.
Guardiola has described Newcastle’s Eddie Howe as a ‘top manager’ (Richard Sellers/PA)
Guardiola’s players will have an extra spring in their step following Tuesday night’s 7-0 thrashing of Leeds, which was their seventh-straight league win.
“We are playing well and getting results we want, but we have to continue this,” Guardiola said.
“You need to score goals to win games, that is no secret. We have found a way to score goals from different places in different ways and Tuesday was a good example.
Jack is an outstanding player. He has so much quality and has played so well for us
“Scoring goals also brings confidence, for the team, for the players and that will be important in helping us to win the next game.
“If they know they are capable of scoring goals like this, then that confidence will help us achieve our goals.”
Jack Grealish scored his third goal of the season for City against Leeds and Guardiola was full of praise for the England midfielder.
The Spaniard added: “Jack is an outstanding player. He has so much quality and has played so well for us.
“It is important for every player to feel like they are contributing with goals but he has been playing well all season and we know what to expect from him.
“It takes time to get used to a new team, a new way of playing but Jack knows what he has to do and we will continue to see this.”