As confirmed by Benitez earlier in the week, the players will travel to Alicante tomorrow to endure a four-day training camp, ending in a 135 minute friendly against Belgian side Royal Antwerp.
Today’s story in the Chronicle insists that Benitez is keen for the players so be totally focused on the task in hand, with him set to put the squad through their paces and avoid any sort of fiasco that occurred during West Brom’s infamous trip to Spain recently.
Here’s a snippet from their story today, explaining how Benitez is planning a tough schedule for the squad over the next few days:
“Benitez will afford players some free-time between sessions and group activities are also encouraged, but Benitez wants his players to focus firmly on the task in hand during the club’s mid-season training camp at the Pinatar Arena.
“Newcastle chiefs are eager to avoid any negative publicity on the trip especially with West Bromwich Albion’s disastrous recent trip to Barcelona still fresh in the memory of football fans when Jonny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill found themselves in trouble after allegedly stealing a taxi.
“Benitez has drawn up a tough schedule of hard work during United’s stay at the Pinatar Arena and wants his team to return with their minds on nothing but football.
“When asked if players would be allowed to drink last week, Benitez had said: “Yes, they will be able to drink water.”
This seems like the right approach from Rafa – a man who is clearly keen to keep complacency to a minimum despite Saturday’s huge win over Southampton.
It will be nice for the players to get away and enjoy the sun, but it’s good to hear that Benitez is focused on keeping them in the best shape possible. After all, we have another huge game at home to Huddersfield when we return to Premier League action in a few weeks time.