Eddie Howe and his 'rested' Newcastle United squad focused on Manchester United – in Dubai
Howe and most of those players not on international duty headed to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for some rest and warm weather training after Friday night’s 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
Bruno Guimaraes has been “resting” in the Maldives with his partner after a hectic few weeks. Joelinton – who has missed the fifth-placed club’s last two games through suspension – has visited his native Brazil.
However, they will soon be back at work as preparations start in earnest in Dubai for the April 2 home game against Manchester United.
United’s head coach said: "Immediately, it'll be a little bit of rest after an intense period of games, then we'll get back to training and preparation for Manchester United."
Howe took the bulk of his squad to Dubai last March. Speaking at the time, Howe said: “Early on, the aim was to give the players some downtime.
There’s been a really intense period of games, a lot of away games as well, so we decided to give them some free time, let them unwind, enjoy the sun for a couple of days and then get back to work and start our preparations for the next game.”
They used the facilities at the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex, and Howe said: “For me, it's one of the best training arenas in the world.
"First class facilities, a world-class pitch, and the facilities around the pitch are second to none.”
Meanwhile, Kieran Trippier (England), Jamal Lewis (Northern Ireland), Martin Dubravka (Slovakia), Sven Botman (Holland) and Alexander Isak (Sweden) are away with their respective countries.
The Football Association (FA) yesterday confirmed that Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope had withdrawn from the England squad for games against Italy and Ukraine because of an unspecified injury.
An FA statement read: “Fraser Forster has been added to the England squad following Nick Pope’s withdrawal.
"The Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper was last with the Three Lions in March 2022, and has six caps to his name since making his debut in 2013. Pope will remain with Newcastle United after reporting an injury following his club’s win at Nottingham Forest on Friday.”