Newcastle fitness coach Alessandro Schoenmaker has said that the trip to La Manga will allow players such as Siem de Jong and Vurnon Anita to be integrated back into the group.

Schoenmaker says that de Jong wasn’t able to train at all for three weeks due to his eye injury and then spent another week just working one on one with the fitness coach.

However, he says that during the trip to La Manga, the former Ajax Captain will now train with the other players on a non-contact basis, before then progressing to full training by the end of this week.

It seems a bit strange to be talking about Siem de Jong being a bit of a forgotten man, taking into account he has played next to no football for Newcastle, so what really is there to forget/to miss?

The new signings in January pushed de Jong even further from the minds of fans but one thing hasn’t changed, if Siem de Jong could get properly fit and recreate his form at Ajax, he could be a valuable player in the relegation battle.

Very hard to have any expectations due to what has gone before but hopefully Schoenmaker has got to the bottom of the player’s fitness issues and can produce him for the league run-in.

With Aleksandar Mitrovic’s injury further weakening the attacking threat of Newcastle, the need for goals from elsewhere has only risen.

Alessandro Schoenmaker talking to the official club website:

“I have been here (La Manga) three times before, including with FC Twente the year we won the championship under Steve (McClaren).

“In terms of facilities and environment it is very good and the temperature is better than at home.

“The pitches are good and we are going to get a good game on Saturday – they are the most important things.

“It is ideal because it is not too far. Instead of going to Dubai or Qatar, which is much more flight-time, different time zones and a very hot temperature, we have a great base here.

“It is a really important week for us. Some teams may give players extra days off but this is a week of hard work for us.

“This week should see a few people get back training with the group, like Vurnon and Siem de Jong.

“There is a game at the end of the week (v Lillestrom) for players to get more minutes and keep playing. It’s about maintaining their match fitness in this gap before we play Stoke City.

“This is always a good time to get the group together, do extra work on the training pitch and in the gym, with a game at the end of it.

“Some of the players will have extra sessions, especially those who haven’t played too much in the last few weeks, but it will be hard work for everyone.

“Siem has been very unlucky with his eye injury, for three weeks he wasn’t able to do any work, and he has now had one full week of training with me, both outside and in the gym.

“This week he will be introduced back into the group, starting with no contact but by the end of the week it will be full contact.”