Newcastle United’s players have been on the ball in pre-season training.
New head coach Steve McClaren has wasted no time in getting his football philosophy across to his squad.
We want to get some structure and ball work into the players and try and incorporate the two – fitness work and ball work.Steve McClaren
The club’s players are normally restricted to fitness testing and running after reporting back for the start of pre-season training.
But McClaren, assisted by incoming No 2 Ian Cathro, got the balls out on Wednesday.
And yesterday the players did more ball work as McClaren started to work on possession and shape at the Magpies’ Benton HQ.
McClaren is looking for his team to take control of games in the coming campaign – something Newcastle struggled to do last season as it battled relegation.
Asked about the early use of the ball in pre-season, McClaren said: “It’s vital.
“We play football with the ball, so it’s vital that we do that.
“The players enjoy that, but I do also.”
Newcastle open their pre-season campaign with a friendly against Gateshead at the International Stadium next Friday before heading across the Atlantic for a three-match tour of the USA.
And McClaren is looking to quickly get his ideas across to the squad.
“It’s a shorter pre-season,” said McClaren. “We’ve got 10 days hard work before we go to America.
“We want to get some structure and ball work into the players and try and incorporate the two – fitness work and ball work.”
Goalkeeper Tim Krul and midfielder Moussa Sissoko will report back for pre-season training on Monday.
The pair were given an extra few days off because of their involvement with Holland and France respectively this summer.