Newcastle get back to work today with the players and staff returning to the training ground according to The Chronicle. The players not involved in the World Cup will train this week before jetting off to Riyadh for a 6-day traning camp on Sunday.
The squad will return after a two-week break since the 1-0 triumph over Chelsea. The goal over the next month is to hit the ground running when competitive matches resume on December 21st with the fourth round of the Carabao Cup against Bournemouth.
Sporting director Dan Ashworth has spoken about the challenges over the next month. Here is some of what Ashworth said about the mini pre-season:
“We’ve front-loaded the season a little bit, so it’s quite an intensive season for all Premier League clubs with more games than there would have been last year.
“So it’s important to give the players a bit of a break, and then it’s back into almost like a mini pre-season, if you like. So it’s back in reconditioning, some games, and getting the players ready. The majority of it will take place at the training ground.
“League One and League Two don’t have a break. Championship do have a break, although it’s less of a break. It’s not too dissimilar to pre-season, so Championship starts a week before us.
“What’s complicated it is that some of the player will be at the World Cup, and you don’t know their return date. So if they get to the final, the return date is a week before the Leicester game.
“If those players get knocked out in the group stages, the return date is week three of our break, so could have players dropping in at that stage. Some of them might have played in three of their games, some of them might not have played a minute of the World Cup. They were part of the squad. They’re coming back in different conditions.
“Whichever nations get to the final, if we have players playing for that nation, I think it’s unlikely that they’re going to be available for that cup game. It’s a unique season. It’s part of the challenge.”
This is uncharted territory the World Cup in the middle of the season. How club’s fare after the break will be largely determined on how the next month is navigated.
While Newcastle have a comprehensive plan in place with the training camp and two friendlies, the return dates of their World Cup stars is still up in the air.
Newcastle’s three England players – Callum Wilson, Nick Pope, and Kieran Trippier – are all but nailed on to advance to the knockout stages. They need to avoid losing to Wales by four goals tomorrow to advance.
Fabian Schar’s Switzerland and Bruno Guimaraes’s Brazil will face eachother today after winning their opening matches. Neither Magpie got on the pitch last Thursday but their respective nations got the job done.
Newcastle’s five World Cup players are currently in excellent shape to advance in the competition. England and Brazil are two of the favorites while Switzerland have a chance to pull an upset against the Brazilian’s this afternoon.