Eddie Howe issues Newcastle United training ground rebuild update
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Builders started work on an extension and internal improvements to the outdated facility in the summer, and that has had implications for Eddie Howe and his players.
The squad has been changing in three separate rooms this season while a new dressing room is being built at the Benton site. Howe hopes that the new changing room will be ready for them next week.
“We’ve had no benefits for the moment, almost the opposite,” said Howe, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s home game against Aston Villa.
“We’re in a very cramped space, but hopefully next week, I think it is, the players will go into their changing room, so that’ll be a massive lift for them, not so much for the staff, yet, but hopefully we’ll see the benefits in a few weeks.
"But the players are the priority. They’ll go into their new changing room, which is a much bigger space, and it’ll mean that they’re all together.
"At the moment, they’re in three different rooms, which isn’t conducive to the togetherness we want, really. They’ll go into one room all together, and I think that’ll be really good for them.”
Newcastle’s new owners submitted plans for the training ground extension, which includes a hydro pool, late last season.
United’s planning application, damningly, stated: "The current training facilities fall significantly below the Premier League, and perhaps even Championship, standards.”
In the longer-term, the club is looking to relocate to an all-new training ground on another site.
Newcastle chief executive officer Darren Eales said: “One of the things that has been impressive in all of our chaos, and stuff going on (following last year’s takeover), is looking and saying ‘OK, we’ve got the training ground that’s there – how can we incrementally improve it?’.
"Yes, at some stage, with a long-term vision, clearly that’s an area we’re going to look at in terms of a new facility.
"But I think they did a great job very quickly in saying ‘OK, how can we do some little things like putting a hydro pool in?’.”