Rafa Benitez outlines his plan at Newcastle for the international break

Yoan Gouffran
Yoan Gouffran

Rafa Benitez will give a clutch of Newcastle United plans a long weekend off – but it's NOT as a reward for the team's success.

Benitez's side won an eighth successive game on Saturday to maintain their three-points advantage at the top of the Championship.

Goals from Christian Atsu and Yoan Gouffran saw United beat Cardiff City 2-1 in front of a 51,257 crowd at St James's Park.

READ MORE: Yoan Gouffran blanks journalists AGAIN after netting winning goal for Newcastle

Many of Benitez's players have linked up with their respective countries for the international break.

But those left on Tyneside will be worked hard this week by Newcastle manager Benitez and his staff ahead of a mini-break ahead of the club's game against Leeds United at a sol-out Elland Road on November 20.

"Some go with the national teams, those that stay here will train this week for four days and after that we'll give three or four days off because we play Leeds later (on Sunday)," said Benitez.

"Not a reward, no it was pre-programmed. We more or less have the programme set for one or two months, but we don't give it to the players until we're 100% sure with TV schedules."

Benitez hopes the break will "recharge the batteries" of some of his players after a gruelling few months.

Asked if he was frustrated at the break given his team's form, Benitez added: "You can't change things, so what you have to do is to use the break to recharge the batteries and bring back everyone ready."