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Newcastle Coach ‘You don’t have to be best friends’

6 years ago

First team coach Paul Simpson has been talking about how important pre season is, in terms of preparation for the season and especially players/staff bonding.

Steve McClaren’s assistant says that pre season tours such as the current one to America are vital in terms of people getting to know each other, which can lead to an ‘enjoyable season’.

Simpson says that everybody doesn’t have to be ‘best friends’ but they do need to respect each other and gain an understanding of the other players in the group.

Whilst it was great to get the signing of Georginio Wijnaldum in the bank, the fact remains that not a single new signing was on Sunday’s flight from Newcastle Airport, with Wijnaldum joining up with the squad later this week.

Steve McClaren has also spoken on similar lines to Paul Simpson, talking about how important the work that gets done in pre season impacts on the coming campaign.

Yes it is important to get the right players in of course but a player signing early/mid-July is a lot different than any player(s) arriving in August after the season has already started and pre season is history.

Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye were signed in June 2011 and were the two key figures in the transformation at the club and the eventual league placing of fifth.

The team hit the ground running that season and were unbeaten in the first 11 games, putting 25 points on the board in the opening 33.

Like that summer, if Newcastle can now quickly add the quality striker we are desperate for, then he and Wijnaldum can potentially do a similar job to what Ba and Cabaye helped inspire in 2011/12.

Interviewed on the official club website – Paul SImpson:

“I think it is always important to get everybody together so we can learn to live with each other, as during a football season the players probably spend more time with the rest of the group than they do with their own family.

“You don’t have to be best friends with each other but you have got to respect each other and you have got to have an understanding of what ticks the boxes for each other.”


“That will be really important through the season so on this trip away, 11 days in hotels together, a lot of travelling together, being involved in games, being involved in training situations in a different environment; it is how they all deal with it.

“The whole process is evolving at the moment and we are learning lots about each other and hopefully it will lead to us having an enjoyable season.”


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