Craig Hope has lifted the lid on the intensity of Eddie Howe’s training sessions as well as a raised expectation around the club off the pitch, too.
The Daily Mail journalist, who is well-connected at the club having worked there years ago, claims our new manager told the players “if you are maxed out, you are not”, within minutes of being on the training ground.
Toon fans grew frustrated at the previous regime under Steve Bruce as holidays away, excessive days off and a feeling of disinclination towards training sessions was evident.
Interestingly, it is also noted that Howe put together a 500-page dossier on training methods during his hiatus from management, more evidence that we have a meticulous manager on our hands who is both intelligent and driven.
The piece also reports that Howe has stamped his authority when it comes to timekeeping and dress code, too, also demanding that the players train as we play – making initial sessions feel ‘like pre-season’.
Here’s some of the best bits from the insightful article:
“He had been on the training pitch with his new players for a matter of minutes when he barked at them: ‘If you think you are maxed out, you are not.’
That has been the theme of the past two weeks, redefining limits.
The one word to emanate from the training ground has been ‘intensity’. His first day, and every one thereafter, has been spent drilling home the message – ‘we train as we play’. Sources describe some of it as ‘like pre-season’, in that players are returning home ready for their bed.
Not that the work has been boring or repetitive. Every exercise is short and sharp.
Howe put together a 500-page dossier of his training sessions during his 15-month break following Bournemouth, so repetition is unlikely.
He has also sought to tighten standards away from the grass.
There are new expectations in terms of punctuality, eating together, dress code and more.
One initiative that has been particularly well received was the move to train at St James’ Park last Saturday. He encouraged his players to visualise. If you are going to work on team shape, you might as well do it within the exact parameters in which you are hoping to fit.
The 43-year-old has spoken of changes to training that will extract an extra ‘two or three per cent’.
‘We are not jogging’ he screamed on that first day.
There has been no scope for rest, either. His working day starts at 7am and finishes 12 hours later. As he laughed on Friday, ‘I haven’t seen Newcastle in daylight yet’. He is unlikely to do so for the next 10 days now.”