Rafa Benitez pleased with warm-weather training camp 
Photo Credit:(Gettyimages/Serena Taylor)

Rafa Benitez pleased with warm-weather training camp 

The Spaniard was able to field 22 different players against CSKA Moscow which ended their warm-weather training camp.

Aaron Hindhaugh

Newcastle United drew 1-1 with CSKA Moscow in Spain after three days of training as the Magpies had a 12-day break after the games against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday.

However, it was about fitness not the result and Rafa Benitez was happy for players to get some much needed minutes and said it was 'great for us' to get all his players back to full fitness.

The Spaniard was happy to give minutes to fringe players and ones that had just come back from injury like Mo Diame, Jonjo Shelvey and Ki Sung-Yeung.

A productive week

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After last years successful trip away to Spain where the Magpies won their following three games in the Premier League, Benitez took his players away again this season.

The trip away has allowed new signings, Antonio Baercca and Miguel Almiron to gel with their new teammates and get some vital minutes under their belt.

The Magpies spent three days training in Spain before playing a friendly against CSKA which showed some weaknesses and positives.

Benitez spoke to the Chronicle about the mood going forward in the camp: "It has been a good week for us.

"There’s a good atmosphere in the squad and everybody knows how crucial that will be."

Positive for the rest of the season

Newcastle are going to need every player to be at their best for the final push to stay in the Premier League.

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Benitez hopes this training camp will have brought his squad closer together and thus, bring more positives in the final part of the season.

The Spaniard said: "The players will get a couple of days off and then it’s back to start work for Huddersfield.

"Everybody is trying their best.

"The commitment from everybody will be important for the rest of the season.

Benitez is confident his squad is in the right frame of mind for a relegation battle.

Benitez added: "I can see they are quite happy at the moment."