Fears over the outbreak of coronavirus has prompted a handshake ban at Newcastle United's training ground.

Elsewhere, Sean Longstaff admits he is relishing the challenge of recapturing his form from last season.

Here are your Newcastle United stories from February 28:

Coronavirus prompts handshake ban

Steve Bruce has revealed Newcastle United players have been banned from shaking hands at the training ground due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Jonjo Shelvey
Jonjo Shelvey

Bruce spoke of the special measures at the club's Benton HQ on the advice of club doctor Paul Catterson.

With many sporting fixtures being cancelled - and some games in Serie A being played behind closed doors - the Toon squad, who visited China in the summer for pre-season, are taking precautions.

Longstaff relishing challenge

Sean Longstaff is relishing the challenge of trying to rediscover the form that lit up his introduction into first-team life at Newcastle United.

It is just over 14 months since Rafa Benitez handed the midfielder his first senior Magpies appearance as a substitute in a 4-0 defeat at Liverpool.

A first start followed in an FA Cup third-round tie against Blackburn Rovers two weeks later and Longstaff netted his first goal for the club in a replay win against the Championship outfit.

Newcastle United player Sean Longstaff celebrates after scoring a goal in training earlier this month

He came to national attention when Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised the Magpies midfielder for his sterling performance in a 2-1 win against the reigning Premier League champions in late January.

But agony and frustration were to follow when his season was ended in early March with a serious knee injury sustained in a 2-0 defeat at West Ham United.

Hogg on Allan

Newcastle United turned down two loan offers from the Scottish Premiership for flying forward Thomas Allan in January - but his new coach Chris Hogg has urged him to stay patient for his first team chance on Tyneside.

Allan has netted 14 goals for the second string this season as well as laying on an assist for Joelinton in the senior side during the FA Cup tie against Rochdale.

Tom Allan of Newcastle United (7) celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Premier League 2 match between Newcastle United and Sunderland at St. James Park on February 14, 2020 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Tom Allan of Newcastle United (7) celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Premier League 2 match between Newcastle United and Sunderland at St. James Park on February 14, 2020 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England

The winger, who is set to play for United's Under-23s tonight at Middlesbrough (7pm, Heritage Park), must now continue to strive to impress Steve Bruce.

Allan grabbed two goals against Scunthorpe last Friday in the 6-2 rout of the Iron and left Hogg more than satisfied with his performance.

Bruce gutted to lose Clark

Steve Bruce says that Ciaran Clark's season ending injury is a huge blow to his squad after the Irish defender had proved to be one of the players of the campaign so far.

The former Aston Villa man picked up an ankle injury in the 4-0 defeat at Arsenal and United are now deciding whether he goes under the knife for an operation or not.

Ciaran Clark of Newcastle United goes off injured during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Newcastle United
Ciaran Clark of Newcastle United goes off injured during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Newcastle United

When asked about Clark, Bruce said: "I think he's been excellent.

"It's been cruel for us, Matt Ritchie after a tackle, now Ciaran and Dummy before him."

Returning trio

Jonjo Shelvey, Javier Manquillo and Dwight Gayle are all in contention for roles against Burnley at St James’ Park this weekend.

The Magpies are aiming for three points to put even more distance between themselves and the relegation zone.

And Steve Bruce’s options have been boosted by the return of Spanish defender Manquillo and former Liverpool man Shelvey.

Jonjo Shelvey (R) passes the ball
Jonjo Shelvey (R) passes the ball

It means that Bruce has a major decision to make in his midfield engine room, where Sean Longstaff and Nabil Bentaleb have been starters in recent games.

But Bruce indicated some players would be receiving disappointing news ahead of the game with the Clarets.

Solano's verdict on Joelinton

Nobby Solano has defended Newcastle United's £40million man Joelinton - and insists the chronic lack of service is making him look like a bad player.

Solano admitted he'd love to still be playing, just to whip a few first time balls to his feet from the flank and give the Brazilian something to feed off.

Former Newcastle player Nolberto Solano
Former Newcastle player Nolberto Solano

The Peruvian did so on many occasions for Alan Shearer and Craig Bellamy during the Sir Bobby Robson era.

But he feels that criticism of Joelinton is not completely fair on the summer signing from Hoffenheim.