What Newcastle United's World Cup players have told Eddie Howe about returning to club
England trio Kieran Trippier, Callum Wilson and Nick Pope and Brazil’s Bruno Guimaraes are all ready to return quarter-final exits. All were unused substitutes in the last round.
However, they will be assessed before returning to action for the club, which has a home friendly against Real Vallecano on Saturday.
"I think we'll take it on an individual basis,” said United’s head coach. “Then, (we’ll assess) the individual player, how much football they've played at the World Cup could potentially have a bearing.
"Speaking to all the players, I know they're very keen to come back and join us very quickly, but of course, we have to have the balance right. We don't want to fatigue players mentally probably more than physically going into the second half of the season. At some stage, we will probably need to give them a break. When that is, I don't know."
Meanwhile, Howe and his non-international players returned to Tyneside on Saturday after a spending a week in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for a winter training camp.
The club beat Saudi Pro League champions Al Hilal 5-0 on Thursday night. Joelinton and Chris Wood were forced off with injuries.
"Tough game, but they're the games you want,” said Howe. “I know the scoreline looks comfortable, but it was a difficult game.
"There were some really good bits, some stuff to work on. There was a little bit of rustiness we are still playing ourselves out of, but we'll be better for the game.”