As Newcastle get stuck into pre-season training, Vurnon Anita has spoken about life under Rafa Benitez as United look to bounce back.

The Dutch international says that after relegation it is vital that the players ‘keep our faith and our fitness for the coming season’.

Vurnon Anita says that after a decent break, he has been jogging and doing gym work in advance or returning for pre-season training.

The midfielder/full-back saying that if you don’t put that effort in then you will find it ‘tough’ to return to the necessary fitness levels.

As for the pre-season friendlies, the furthest the team are going is Ireland and Belgium, meaning none of the extra problems caused by long haul pre-season trips.

As Vurnon Anita points out ‘quicker there and also back quicker’ from the likes of Southend and Doncaster.

Vurnon Anita talking to NUFC TV:

“It’s very nice to see the guys again and be back at training, it’s been a good week for us.

“I had a good break, then started jogging and exercises in the gym to keep the body moving.

“If you don’t do it then you are going to get it tough in pre-season, most of the guys did the work in off-season to be back fit for the start.

“It’s been good (training) after the disappointment of relegation but we have to keep our faith and our fitness for the coming season.

“This is just our first week to get back at it and next week (in Ireland) it is going to get much more tougher.

“We are closer to home (this summer’s friendlies compared to New Zealand/USA in last two summers), so quicker there and also back quicker.

“Most of the guys like (pre-season) running and running with the ball, I prefer running with the ball – the most importing thing is controlling the ball to help win games.”

Also interesting to see what Rafa Benitez does with Vurnon Anita. He has only one year left on his contract so will there be a new deal or try and sell him – then if the Dutch international stays, will he get a game and in what position?

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