Steve McClaren: Newcastle's La Manga jaunt is NOT a jolly!

Steve McClaren
Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren has insisted that Newcastle United's visit to La Manga is NOT a jolly.

McClaren will take his players to Spain next week for a training camp and a friendly against Norwegian club Lillestrom on February 20.

The trip has been arranged because of an 18-day gap in the relegation-threatened club's fixture list.

Asked if it was a "jolly", McClaren said: "Definitely not.

"We could have gone to warmer climes and more luxurious places.

"There'll be a lot of work. From Stoke onwards, it's game after game.

"It's the most critical part of the season."

On the Lillestrom match, McClaren added: “We also needed a game.

"It's difficult to find one here because everybody's playing, and if they're not, they need a rest as well, so it's an ideal opportunity to arrange a game behind closed doors."

Newcastle take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tomorrow evening.