Steve McClaren has admitted that Newcastle’s gruelling pre-season tour of America isn’t ideal for preparation for the new campaign.
The Magpies jetted out to the USA yesterday where they will play three games at three different venues in 10 days – racking up more than 13,000 miles in the process
The venture was organised before McClaren took over as head coach last month and while he says there will be a logistical challenges, he is still looking forward to it.
Asked if the travel and exertions put on the squad was a concern, McClaren replied: “Hopefully not.
“It’s going to be a tough 10 days – games, travel, logistics, preparation, organisation.
“I’ve done these trips before and can you say they’re ideal? No. But this is what we’ve inherited and we have to make the most of it – and we will.
“We’ll do the work we need to do and get the recovery that we need and coming back, then that is the period where ‘do you recover?’ and ‘how long does it takes each individual to recover?’
“We have to make sure in that period that we don’t get injuries and niggles.”
Newcastle left behind six players who were already suffering from injuries – Remy Cabella, Cheik Tiote, Mehdi Abeid, Rob Elliot, Paul Dummett and Sylvain Marveaux – when the 24-man squad flew out.
They will take on Mexican side Club Atlas in Milwaukee in the early hours of Wednesday morning British time, before games in Sacramento on Sunday (4am GMT) and Portland next Wednesday (3.30am GMT).
It will be a chance to not only improve fitness, but more importantly work on team shape and tactics for the Newcastle coaching staff.
“There’s three games,” added McClaren. Training is great, all the little drills are great, but nothing beats the game
“So three games and a lot of work on the training ground now on organisation and jobs and things that you should be doing so they become more automatic rather than just off the cuff
“We’ve worked very hard and we will continue with the fitness. The fitness will come with the games that they play now, and the recovery will be important because of all the travel.”
Squad: Aarons, Anita, Armstrong, Bigirimana, Cisse, Colback, Coloccini, Darlow, De Jong, Ferguson, Good, Gouffran, Haidara, Janmaat, Krul, Lascelles, Obertan, Perez, Riviere, Sissoko, Taylor, Wijnaldum, Williamson, Woodman.