Eddie Howe’s message to Newcastle United's players
The club moved up to third in the Premier League before the domestic football calendar was paused for the World Cup in Qatar.
United take on Bournemouth in a fourth-round Carabao Cup tie at St James’s Park on December 20 before resuming their league campaign with a Boxing Day fixture away to Leicester City.
Newcastle had hit form before the break, but there’s “no guarantee” the team – who beat Al Hilal 5-0 in Saudi Arabia last week – can pick up where they left off, according to Howe.
"I think it’s very difficult, because this season – as we've said – is so unlike any other,” said United’s head coach.
“The season almost starts again. When we restart, the form we previously had there is no guarantee we will continue. We have to earn the right and start all over again.
"I think the biggest danger we can have is to think how well we have done over this current break. We can't relax, and be in that mood.
"We have to be really determined to come back and earn it all again. That starts in the first game against Bournemouth – it’s a really important game for us.
"It’s a pivotal game, because we must keep our positive energy – and keep the crowd like they were against Chelsea (a 1-0 win for Newcastle). That was a brilliant atmosphere, and the Bournemouth game goes to reset that all again."