Rafa Benitez outlines plan for friendly during Newcastle’s 21-day break

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez.
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez.

Newcastle United are considering playing a 39th game – to fill a 21-day break.

Rafa Benitez’s side are without a fixture between the March 10 home game against Southampton and Huddersfield Town’s visit to St James’s Park on March 31.

Benitez is keen to organise a friendly, either at home or abroad, during the extended break so his players can maintain their match fitness.

“We’re already analysing that,” said Benitez.

“We would like to play, maybe, a game, but the teams are playing.

“And then we would like to stay here, but then maybe we have to go and move around so you can guarantee you can play a game.

“We’re working on that now. Still it’s too early, but we’re working on that.

“We want to continue playing competitive games to be sure everybody has match fitness.”

Asked if he would consider travelling abroad to play a game, Benitez said: “Yes, it’s an option.

“I don’t like to go too long, but it’s an option we’re considering.”

National League club Hartlepool United are understood to have been in contact with Newcastle about the possibility of arranging a game during the break.