Newcastle United not in Abu Dhabi for sun, sea and sand says Alan Pardew

HAPPY ABOUT TRIP: Alan Pardew. Picture by FRANK REID
HAPPY ABOUT TRIP: Alan Pardew. Picture by FRANK REID

NEWCASTLE United’s trip to Abu Dhabi is about work, rest – and some play.

The club’s players are in the Middle East for a few days warm-weather training.

United manager Alan Pardew says his squad will “word hard” in the United Arab Emirates, but the trip also allows for rest after a gruelling run of Premier League fixtures.

Newcastle’s players – who beat West Ham United 3-1 at Upton Park on Saturday – have also been enjoying their downtime in 22-degree temperatures.

A number of Abu Dhabi-based United fans have met the players, who have been exploring the man-made Yas Island on the emirate.

Some watched the Abu Dhabi golf championship, while the team’s hotel is next to the Formula 1 circuit in Abu Dhabi and is close to Ferrari World.

“We’ll get a bit of sun on our backs, but we’ll work hard,” Pardew told SportMail.

“I don’t want our fans to think we’ll go away and have a party. We’ll work hard, but there will also be time to rest and recover.”

Newcastle’s players headed to the airport immediately from Upton Park, where two goals from Yohan Cabaye – and another from Loic Remy – ended a run of four successive defeats.

Pardew felt his team had performed well in all but one of those games, the FA Cup loss to Cardiff City.

And the result lifted the mood among fans and players alike after a frustrating few weeks on the field.

“It was no good saying we’re playing well – we needed to back it up with a win,” said Pardew.

“I said that to the players before we kicked off. We were playing well, but it doesn’t mean anything if we’re not winning.

“We did that, and that was the most important thing.

United return to action a week today when they take on Chris Hughton’s Norwich City – who last week signed Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez on loan – at Carrow Road.

Gutierrez is not eligible to play against his parent club.